anxiety · depression · grief · men · mental health · news · paranoia · self image · suicide · support

The Human Tragedy

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Someone recently pointed out to me that scientists and research has managed to find so many ways for us to live longer, yet the cruel reality is the younger generation are turning to suicide more and more, and it’s not just the young either.

So the question I put forward is why?

My theory. We are cursed with the awareness of our own morality meaning most often one of our biggest goals is to live a happy and meaningful life. But life is no smooth ride and especially nowadays we document our lives as if it were a magazine spread, upselling our lives and displaying it proudly hoping others are envious of our achievement at having what looks like such a successful life.
Truth is it’s more often than not a visage, what power does a photograph or a Facebook account have? It is but another mask to hide the consumerism within us of always wanting more and always wanting to be more.
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So what’s the conclusion?

Honesty. I think the media needs to put on a more honest display and view of life. We can’t grow up with this fairytale idea of everything going to plan, as when we meet failure (and we will meet failure) we so often think, ‘That’s it! Life plan ruined I failed!’ So starts the self-critical voice of ‘I never get anything right’ and the comparison of ourselves to others who may have succeeded where we failed.

Education needs to start teaching us about mental health too, the midlife crisis has moved forward to our 20’s making it a quarter life crisis! What preparation do we have for exhausting our minds trying to live up to an unobtainable standard of self then crashing and burning and becoming depressed, or discovering you have a mental illness such as Bipolar? We need to talk about these things so they are no longer an ‘awkward subject’ we shouldn’t be ashamed of falling or failing as it shapes us into becoming the person who learns to stand back up again.

Yet we do need help, we need coping mechanisms, we need education, we need people to stand forward and admit that they don’t have it all together, that rolls of fat can be beautiful, that scars are not signs or failure, that money isn’t everything, that relationships do break down…. Truth, honesty, support and above all acceptance.

So here is the question I now put forward for your opinions, where are we going wrong and how can we change?

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

Think before you speak!

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I have tried to be as subjective as possible in regards to a lot of the posts I write on here. Both considering those who are new to understanding mental health and those who are very educated and clued up on the matter, as well as being mindful of those who suffer.

However as a BPD (borderline personality disorder) sufferer I wanted to write a post entirely on what it is like experiencing relationships and friendships from my view or rather ‘our’ view (for those out there who also suffer from emotional unstable disorders). 

What inspired me to write this was going on to Google and typing in ‘how to communicate in relationships/friendships when you suffer from BPD?’ And the majority of results that came up were links stating things such as ‘Why BPD relationships are so tough’ or ‘How to love someone with BPD’.  All these links providing reasons why other non-sufferers struggle to be friends with ‘us’, or how it is hard on them to handle ‘us’, and why many break from their relationships or friendships due to the turbulence of the experience of being close to this said person with BPD.

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I must admit this does boil my blood a bit, and lets not now suggest that this reaction in itself is due to my ‘disorder’ and having a BIG reaction to something seemingly small.
No it makes me angry as the sufferer seems to be portrayed as some sort of villain. As the question is often put across as, ‘how does it make YOU feel that your partner has a mental health disorder?’ Or how it makes YOU feel that your mum has BPD or even your best friend?

Now I’m not attempting to take away from this importance in the slightest as it is important how this makes YOU feel, as the education you receive on the subject will help you better understand and know how to communicate and cope with the sufferer. But don’t be fooled to believe that this text book education or small insight tells you or even begins to touch on what it’s like in the head of that sufferer, and I can guarantee to you most of the time they want to spare you the description of that daily battle.

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So how about how it makes US feel? Having friends who expect too much of you emotionally? Or partners who leave you over a condition you cannot control? Or parents who look at you in those dark times as if they have no idea who is standing in front of them? How it feels having strangers call us attention seeking or mental?
Well I can tell you it’s not good that’s for sure!

How about why WE want to distance ourselves from friends who judge us? Who get angry at us? Who put unnecessary pressure on us? All again because of an illness that due to them not being able to see they therefore cannot seem to understand? 
Or why we don’t want to, or are scared to enter relationships? Because we fight this pain and negativity and self-criticism in our heads daily, and believe me we know and already feel guilty towards any pain it may cause you! We can see and feel it affecting you, but just as someone in a wheelchair cannot get up and walk we cannot just switch this off.

No reminder needs to be said of how hard it is for you, how difficult it is for you, how painful it is for you etc. etc. as we have already gone through all of that in our own heads, hence why so many stay silent.

So before you speak to someone with a mental health disorder THINK about your words as they often only confirm our scars, only validate our constant self-criticism and lack of self-worth and ultimately only push us closer to that edge.

Think before you speak to someone with BPD, THINK!!!
As it often does far more damage than you can even imagine.

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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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depression · mental health · open mic · poetry · reading · self image · spoken word · stigma

Spoken Word Poetry

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I have officially done my first ever spoken word event at the Canvas Cafe near Brick Lane in London for Mad Poets Speak!!!

Since I was in primary school I have written poetry and fallen in love with it’s language and the way we can use words to express emotions and thoughts turning them into something unique and beautiful.

Yesterday was the first time I have ever got up in front of others and read out my work, and though it was nerve racking it was an amazing experience.

The theme was mental health and the poems others read were incredible and so relatable, hearing others share their wonderful work and their experiences really did in my eyes help break the stigma.

I hope to discover more spoken word events and also events speaking on mental health.

To watch the video please click HERE

 

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also had this amazing vegan freakshake at the cafe!!!