The grip is strong and tightening

I’ll set the scene.

It’s my brother’s 30th birthday. I’ve travelled back to the family home to have the annual celebratory BBQ.

It’s mainly his friends and some old family friends that’s in attendance. Some I’ve known all my life, some for around 20+years and others I’m meeting for the first time.

Historically, these gatherings never faze me at all. Even when my depression, and anxiety and OCD were at their worst, I could still fake smile my way through it, distract myself with keeping food or drink topped up or play with the many children out family seems to spawn.

This time it’s different. Attendees are 18+ so no small ones to play with. There’s no family to hunker down next to the food table with, most of the work is done and does not need maintenance……….and I came solo.

Apart from 3, no one here knows what I’m going through and only my brother knows how bad I am and I wouldn’t dream of burdening him, it’s his birthday.

I have no one. No significant other to sneak off somewhere quiet with, no close friend to have a sneaky cigarette with and no great task to have as an excuse to leave an awkward conversation.

There are also people here who are still friends with my family but after their behaviour and words at/against me, I’ve cut them out of my life. But they’re here and will have to be avoided.

Trying to stay away from others and the conversations that will crop up about where my (ex)partner is, how come he isn’t here now, how I’m doing, how the house is coming along. They don’t know we broke up or how ill I’ve been and am. It’s none of their business.

I’m all alone and not handling well. That’s how I know this fucked-up condition has truly got a good grip around my neck and head and it’s tightening.

I’m feeling the panic gradually building, I’ve already got the fucking shakes. I’ve never been in this situation before and it’s terrifying.

What the fuck do I do?! I can’t leave, it’s my brother’s birthday! As big as the house is, I can’t stay hidden forever. Writing on here was the only thing I could think of that might help. I can’t even turn to my soulmate or significant other for comfort as I no longer have one.

#Depression #Anxiety #Grip

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W.R.A.P

“The Wellness Recovery Action Plan or WRAP, is a self-designed prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well and make their life the way they want it to be.”-https://mentalhealthrecovery.com/wrap-is/developed by Mary Ellen Copeland

I’ve been using WRAP over the time when one lot of CBT sessions ended until my new one starts and so far I’ve found it to be both extremely helpful but at the same time, really raw.

It’s helped me collate the information useful to me and others when I become too poorly to function. The folder, which I carry everywhere with me, holds my thoughts and questions, journal and plans for people to take over. It’s amazing at helping them identify the behaviours I exhibit when I’m just about to hit a bad patch, tells which people I would like to look after what and what does and doesn’t help me.

There is one area though I have yet to tackle, which is the feelings pyramid. I think it’s about time I take the leap. The idea is to identify the emotions I am experiencing, create a pyramid of them ordered in severity and colour them.

In my own way I’ve been doing that but haven’t yet put pen to paper. Perhaps I’m too scared, terrified that there is no improvement or petrified to face them and dredge up something locked away so that if it does surface, I’m back where I started.

Anyone who goes through the struggle of depression/anxiety/suicidal thoughts knows that the recovery time can take weeks/months/years. Maybe that’s why I’m so hesitant to start it.

I recently when though the well travelled initial call of the CBT referral process and for the first time was honest enough to say that I truly have no one to help me. I feel I have to be strong but can talk to some point with some friends, can cry and breakdown in front of others to a limit or have family I cannot show anything to as they will worry of have their own fallout of my sharing.

There is no one I have that I can let everything out to and not have to worry about the ramifications. This forced me back to my folder and my love of Polaroid cameras. I’ve begun to document the love and relationships I have with others, places or activities. I’ve made a list of things I can do which will help but still have not been strong enough to create a pyramid. I’m sick of feeling this way and want it to end.

#Depression

Is there any point in asking?

It’s been 6 months since this hell started and 5 months since we ended. I’m still confused as to why.

There have been many questions buzzing around my head since this nightmare began, why did we end, how come you couldn’t come to me and tell me, how could I let this deteriorate, how could you you move on so quickly, did something happen before you told me we’re through, did we or I mean so little and she mean so much to you that you felt it easy to walk away from me after 20 years together.

Round and round they go, with more and more questions being added until I am so dizzy and blind from it all I break down.

I am now talking regular medication with backup in case it gets worse. I’ve gone through counselling, created my own help folder but still I am struggling to cope or to handle any situation.

You seem to have everything figured out, seem happier in the company of others and are moving on to bigger and better things whilst I am crumbling in front of you, crying and losing my grip.

What did I do or didn’t do that was so terrible that you sought someone else. What was so disastrous that it effected your mental health for you to say you’re confused about how you feel.

I thought we were strong to withstand anything, fuck knows we’ve been through enough. I thought/think we were worth fighting for but you show little interest in doing that.

I want to give you space to process what you’re feeling and be at a place you’re ready to talk but I honestly feel you never will.

I need to know! Tell me something, anything. I’m desperate for you to say that you want to work on us.

I went through the phase of saying I’ll do anything, change anything, move anywhere to stay together and begin to build a different and stronger life together but know I’m asking myself is there any point.

I have broken down in front of you, cried out in desperation, pleaded with you but I get nothing.

I need to accept you don’t love me I. That way anymore and maybe haven’t for a long time. That you don’t find me attractive or have the want to stay with me.

I’m losing the strength to fight. To fight for us, our life and me. I have to constantly battle with myself and have moods that change hourly up and down. How am I supposed to have the strength for us.

Is there any point in asking how you feel? What you want? If you ever loved me? when you’re actions are screaming at me you don’t. By the time you’re ready to talk it might be too late

A ‘Just in case’ girl

Over the past couple of weeks, the realisation that I’m a ‘just in case’ girl has actually sunk in. For example, I may not have a drink ‘just in case’ I may need to pick him up, I won’t go out ‘just in case’ he comes home and wants to do something, I won’t plan anything for the weekend or the next few days ‘just in case’ he/ they want to do anything/go anywhere.

I’ve always been aware of it, but it’s only recently I’ve understood the detrimental impact that’s had on my life. I’m placing my life on hold on the off chance that someone deems me worthy enough to be with or interact with. Unbeknownst to me, I was placing my needs at the lowest point of the pecking order and even worse, saying to myself that I’m not worthy enough or good enough for anyone.

It smacked me in the face (yet again) that I viewed myself so poorly, so disgustingly and so repulsive that when someone decided they could stand to be around me, I leapt at the chance. Feeling grateful for any scraps of time and effort they threw my way like a starving dog begging for any morsels of food.

How can I continue like this?! Do I think so little of myself that I feel blessed for anything?! Am I not worth more than that?!

That tiny little word kept cropping up more and more……’worth’ also others like ‘value’, ‘belief’ and ‘love’. Do I really hate myself that much? Do I have no belief in myself? What a waste of a life it will be if I carried on that way.

A wonderful, inspiring, amazing person on tv says: “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?” He’s totally and absolutely right. If I don’t believe I’m worth more, then how are others going to believe it? If I don’t say that it’s unacceptable, I’m going to be treated that way for the rest of my life.

I, like you dear reader, am worth so much more than that. Stop putting your life on hold and start doing! Start planning your life, start doing things, start going places, start learning new things, start living! People who truly love you and want to be around you (not you around them) will catch up and fall beside you. You’ll rediscover colours, sights, sounds and emotions long forgotten. People will see the spark and life will have warmth again.

If people don’t welcome the difference, celebrate your growth or become distant, well fuck them!! Life will be better off without them.

Remember, as RuPaul Charles says:

“if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”

#Worth #SelfWorth #StartLiving #Depression #Anxiety #Rupaul #Dragrace #Love #MentalHealth

Arguing with myself

I used to hate going over and over a situation or scenario in my head (thank you anxiety) replaying it until I can’t be sure that what I remember is what actually happened. Coming up with different arguments, one liners or funnier sayings way way way down the line. I never saw the point of it all other than to torture myself. But maybe I was wrong, maybe it’s been a healthy exercise all along especially to situations or discussions that haven’t even happened yet.

It struck me as I was going through the familiar cycle (of what I would say, how they would reply, then what my response would and so on. )

What if I need to go through this? What if this process helps me focus on the points I want to make? so rather than the emotion being the only thing heard, but the actual content of what I’m saying gets across. I was dumbfounded, I finally understood why I do it.

Like a lot of fellow bloggers with mental illness/conditions/issues, I have physical/medical ill health also. The one that causes me most trouble is Fibromyalgia (I think I’ll do a separate series on that bundle of fun).

One huge characteristic of that is Fibro-Fog (think permanent baby-brain, no sleep for 7days or trying to do simple math whilst a room full of people scream at you and you’re getting close) Fibro-Fog robs me of my ability to think properly, to articulate my feelings or what I’m trying to say and leaves me playing a shit version of charades. Many in my awesome circle know this and play along, but in heated moments or delicate situations, even work environments it can cause disasters.

This is where the arguing with myself comes in. By planning what I want and should say to people, it helps reduce being misconstrued or hurting people. I can successfully navigate the everyday hurdles without waffling or injury.

#Depression #Anxiety #Fibromyalgia #ArguingWithMyself

Dangers of remembering

Social media sites are fucking dangerous. They remind you of a recently destroyed life with their ‘helpful’ posts of what you were doing this time last year. Showing pictures of happier ignorant times that make you want to scream ‘watch out!’ ‘Pay attention’ and cry with feelings of ‘I wish i was back there’, ‘what happened’ and ‘if you only knew what was ahead’

Day to day living is manageable, only just though. But when you innocently look into the many sites we all use, that’s when the reality you’re hiding from slaps you in the face as if to say “remember when you were happy?”

I’m learning how to ignore the sites and accounts they share, avoid the posts that show how blissfully in love and happy they are and stop myself from being reminded that my soulmate chose another. But it’s becoming more and more difficult each day. I’m already torturing myself with questions of what did it do, how did I lose what we had and how can I learn to be me. I don’t need several social sites rubbing it in my face!

#depression

Trouble

Being half cut and alone at pride is really no fun. I have never felt so alone in my life. I came to pride to be amongst my kin, but being here does not have the desired effect I long for. The last time I attended was when I was in a relationship. It’s been so fucking hard seeing other people so relaxed in being themselves, without prejudice to hold hands and kiss without fear, makes me long for what I used to have. What was ripped from me without choice.

Now I’m learning to be a person on my own again. Trying to see a way through the dense scrub is becoming more and more difficult. I truly value my friends whom have rallied around me to save me but sometimes that not enough. When will this pain end?

#mentalhealth #depression #journey #anxiety