Just Call the F*ing Helpline

You know what is silly? I got so overwhelmed, upset and suicidal recently that I finally actually called Lifeline. That’s not the silly part, that was the smart part, the silly part is the reason I was calling was because I was feeling really embarrassed (read: deeply ashamed) about this bullshit psychosomatic pain issue I have which has been flaring over the last few weeks and yet until right before I finally picked up the phone I thought I would rather die from that embarrassment than make that simple phone call.

Now I didn’t call helplines, I’ve only done it once before (read about it here) and that was when I wasn’t suicidal or upset and it was a brief call purely to try and understand how they operated (this was due to some persistent paranoia about possibly being hauled off to a hospital by the police), and to let you guys know what to expect and also to give myself the confidence to call if/when I really needed to. But right now I am going to get on my soapbox and tell you to swallow your pride or your fears and when things get bad, just call the fucking helpline!

The other day my stupid hands stopped working to the point of being unable to type on my computer! This meant I couldn’t use my writing as my usual therapy to work my way out of anxious situations and I started catastrophising that ‘what if’ I couldn’t write ever again? Then in my tiny mind, there was absolutely no point to life. Then those feelings were overthrown by feelings of intense shame and embarrassment about the fact that this whole hand problem is all caused by a psychosomatic issue, I felt ashamed about my inability to control my own mind and prevent it from trying to destroy me and that turned into thinking about every negative thing that has ever happened and totally losing sight of any of the (plentiful) good bits. I decided that I couldn’t keep doing this anymore, thinking, living; I was too bloody exhausted.

An hour prior I had been reasonably okay and yet here I was about ready to end it all based on a spiral of negative thoughts, I grabbed out my hidden tablet stash and then I paused for a second, it was 2pm, a really impractical time to kill myself, the kids needed picking up and I couldn’t do it at home because someone would find me – FUCK! Then they would definitely think I am attention seeking and that really wasn’t my fucking goal here believe it or not, I just needed the pain and frustration to stop.

So, I picked up the phone, took a deep shaky breath and called Lifeline. I guess my confidence boosting technique had helped me more than I realised after all.

An older guy answered the call, I don’t know his name, they don’t automatically use names at Lifeline, but for the purposes of this I am calling him Barry because he sounded like a lovely old guy I worked with once called Barry. Anyways, I introduced myself in the dignified manner of immediately bursting into tears, on the bright side I guess he gets that a lot because he could accurately decipher “sob-talk”. He was super nice, validating and understanding and he let me vent even though my problem was stupid – well I thought it was, he said he didn’t think so.

I’m like: “I’m feeling like an attention seeking idiot *sob* and now I’m calling you which is pretty much just proving that that’s true *sob* but I can’t kill myself right now because I don’t have time, I have to pick the kids up form school…*sob*” After quickly convincing him that suicide was definitely off the menu for the moment Barry was like: “You have called us once before, ever, and we get people who call us every single day 5-10 times a day, you are hardly one of our ‘frequent flyers’ it’s okay for you to call and you know what? It’s okay for them to call too! If you need to talk, you can always feel okay about calling us.” That made me feel better, we chatted a while and then he gave the spiel about my perception being my reality and whatever the cause of the pain was I was still feeling it and that made it real, he assured me I was already doing all the right things by seeking help and being open minded.

The call made me feel heard and a lot more grounded and when I got off the line I was actually smiling, if you need to feel better call Lifeline Australia (13 11 14) or your countries version of the suicide hotline. Seriously, I was holding the bottle of pills in my hand (I neglected to tell Barry that part) and had been ready to literally die from what was essentially embarrassment, suicide has been my ‘go to’ response for such a long time now that it was difficult to see that all I really needed in that moment was someone compassionate to vent at. Damn my impulsive streak.

I guess what I am saying here is at least open yourself up to the possibility of calling before making any permanent decisions, if you are hell bent on suicide then you have to admit you have nothing to lose by making the call and if you are scared of being talked out of it then you and I both know deep down that means part of you wants to live and while living can be hard and painful and scary, there is help for the bad bits and it is worth holding on because life can also be fucking beautiful and amazing and you deserve to experience the good bits too!

Do you get really, devastatingly embarrassed?

Have you ever called a helpline? If so what was your experience like?


Lifeline Australia ph 13 11 14

Psychosomatic Pain & Feeling Like an Idiot

Note: This was written a few weeks ago, forewarning – it is very ‘woe is me’ and completely un-inspirational but I thought I’d share it anyway.

I am severely frustrated right now because my hand/forearm cramps are acting up again, both sides but predominately my right hand, presumable because I use it more, anyway it is making it really difficult to type right now. I lost the ability to write more than a paragraph with a pen by hand around 10 years ago, but luckily it’s the new millennium and we have computers and smart phones so other than the odd note to a kids school teacher I rarely have to hand write anything.

It’s an issue that is ever present on a mild scale seperate to but also weaving in and around my mental health problems. It also flares up really badly from time to time and when that happens it’s really hard to do basic things like hold a coffee cup, cut with a knife etc – it renders me to arthritic grandma status for anywhere between a few weeks to a month and then settles down again. Normally when this flares up it flares with a bunch of other bizarre disconnected physical symptoms, headaches, weird vision, numbness, tingling and stiffness (like I over did it at the gym)mouth ulcers from hell and increasing upper back/neck/shoulder area pain.

The first doctor I saw about these issues when I was about 16 said it was caused by iron deficiency because of the eating disorder, then it was because I was still a vegetarian so I even started eating meat again, then it was because I was pregnant, then I was told at 19 after having my second child that it was because I was too fat. (!) Then I lost weight (and relapsed) so it was because I was too skinny, then I had my 3rd kid and finally had a normal BMI and no iron deficiency so it must have been because I was stressed.

During a really bad flare Mum made me change doctors and drove me there herself, I was so stiff I was barely able to walk, borderline incontinent, dizzy, lost my sense of smell, had useless hands not to mention what I know know was severe dissociation and depression – I needed constant help to care for my children. The new doctor was really nice, he listened and ran a stack of blood tests. He was concerned about the possibility of MS and referred me to a neurologist, the waiting list was 8 months. By the time the appointment arrived my flare had passed and I was symptom free and even able to climb stairs and smell again, I was also unexpectedly pregnant with my 4th child. (Surprise!)

At the long awaited appointment the Neurologist spent less than 10 minutes with me, he asked if I could smell some cloves (I could) and got me to walk across the room (no worries) then told me there was nothing neurologically wrong and he couldn’t give me an MRI even if he wanted to because I was pregnant. He charged me $450 and said my symptoms were psychosomatic due to stress/depression leaving me humiliated and feeling like a total fraud who was wasting everyones time. I didn’t go back to the nice doctor out of sheer embarrassment that after all his kind concern, I was just subconsciously ‘making it all up’.

When I started having physical issues again I didn’t do anything until years later I suddenly got a very obvious foot drop and was forced to seek help. I was referred to a different neurologist and given an MRI which was negative for MS (yay!), unfortunately the steroid treatment I was given only took 1 day to launch the manageable and rather productive hypomanic episode I had already been in for several months into a full blown psychotic mixed mania that was the beginning of the end of my public service career.

I was treated for mental health issues and after a subsequent depression the mania re surfaced, they looked a little further into my history of depressions and wonderful periods of euphoria and careless impulsivity I was officially diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and part of my life suddenly made sense, but not all of it, I still had those pesky physical issues although they were never as severe before my 4th pregnancy. I also still had the damn foot drop which lasted more than 1/2 a year.

The neurologist had initially said the foot drop was definitely physical because of something to do with a nerve conduction study but after the Bipolar diagnosis my GP was certain it was all psychosomatic. So due to that embarrassment coupled with the fact that nothing was treatable I didn’t bother going back to the doctor for these ‘same old’ problems, until now. I decided to go back to the GP and ask for a physio referral just in case there was some sort of strengthening exercises I could do to help the issue.

GP : “We never found any specific cause in the past and you have a history of mental health issues, so we can pretty safely assume it’s psychosomatic, now fuck off and stop bothering us.” (Okay, she didn’t say the ‘fuck off’ part.)

Me: “I honestly don’t care WHY it’s happening anymore, I’m happy if its psychosomatic then maybe it will go away, but in the interim, maybe some exercises or even the placebo affect of seeing a physiotherapist will help? Please just make it stop because it’s making my life really, really difficult!”

GP: “Definitely psychosomatic, but I will give you the physio referral if you insist”

Sometimes it just infuriates the fuck out of me, you know? I know it’s in my head, I know. I accept that we have ruled out everything else and proven that to be fact but it still hurts and it still irritates me because there is so much judgement and stigma associated with psychosomatic pain/issues. I am aware on one level that this is probably no more consciously preventable than depression is, I mean we all know we can’t think our way out of a thinking problem, or whatever that catch phrase is. Subconscious playing up and  causing a physical sensation, yadda, yadda, I understand the theory but still I can’t help but hate myself a little more every time my arm goes numb again or I get another headache or whatever weird sensation is happening.

Right now I am really struggling to even type – my typing ability isn’t usually affected like this and I keep making mistakes because my hand is trying to twist itself into a pretzel while I push it anyway because all I want to do is rant and rave. I also want to stomp my feet and scream at myself, “For fucks sake Kate, pull your fucking head in and STOP this shit! There is absolutely NO FUCKING REASON for this pain or muscle contortion. YOU are causing all of this to YOURSELF you are MAKING THIS UP in your silly little brain, they did scans and bloods, we all know that there is no problem to find because IT DOESN’T FUCKING EXIST, the pain is IN YOUR STUPID LITTLE IMAGINATION and yet you can’t seem to stop torturing yourself for no obvious reason or gain! You don’t like the pain, you certainly HATE the embarrassment of seeing doctors about it and so why can’t you just fucking STOP making life so difficult for yourself!!!!

Wow I’m being super catty today, sorry, I’m apparently mean when I’m frustrated. I do know that psychosomatic pain is still legitimate pain, it is still real pain felt by the body even if the cause isn’t physiological and I am not trying to diminish anyone else’s experience I am just really, really over it. I got so low after that doctor visit that I became suicidal from just the embarrassment of the whole thing.

Have you dealt with psychosomatic pain or have you had doctors dismiss your physical concerns due to you mental illness diagnosis?

Update: I did talk to my psychiatrist about this and she is very certain that it’s physiological not psychological and the physiotherapist agrees, she thinks the hand stuff is from an issue with my upper back and is fixable, she is giving me exercises to work with. Fingers crossed!

When Mothers Leave Their Babies

*Kira turned to look at me for a moment from the passenger seat and gave a weary ‘I guess this is it’ anxious half-smile, her eyes were glistening with the tears she was trying so hard not to let out in front of her children. “Hurry up Mum!” Whined Kira’s 15yr old daughter *Taylah from the back seat, she and my Mr 15 were waiting to be dropped off at their friend’s place down the street and couldn’t understand what was taking us so long.

“Okay, sorry sweetheart, hang on” Kira said as she reached through the open widow to give another hug to her 10yr old daughter who was standing just outside the car. “You make sure you keep your phone charged, okay? I am going to text you and I want you to text back!” “Yep” her daughter replied, not really listening as she was preoccupied playing with my own daughter. “No, seriously, *Haley, make sure it’s on and has service. Promise me, okay? Now listen to your Dad and… remember how much I love you!” “Okay, love you too” said Haley skipping off to show Miss 9 her new baby lamb.

I looked at Kira, she had put her head down, her face mostly covered by her long black hair and she was biting her lip in an effort to stave off the tears for a few moments longer. “Just drive already!” Taylah cried from the backseat, “OMG you guys are SO SLOW” exclaimed Mr 15. “You ready?” I asked Kira knowing that the real answer was she would never, ever be ready for this moment; she looked up and me, took a deep breath and softly said, “Yes.”

I started my car and we headed down the driveway of their property, pausing momentarily for Kira to get out and shoo her old pet Cow out of the way who was standing stubbornly in the middle of the road chewing cud and pretending he couldn’t see us. We turned out onto the dusty road and drove for a while before reaching the kid’s friends place. Kira gave Taylah the same spiel about making sure her phone was on and was in a spot that had service. The teenagers scrambled out of the car and ran off to meet their friend, not a care in the world. Kira called out the window “I love you!” and Taylah yelled back “love ya too Mum” without even looking back, not understanding that this was the day her life was going to change forever.

You see today, Kira was leaving her husband. And for the foreseeable future, she was also leaving her children.

How could a mother voluntarily just leave her kids? It’s not exactly a common occurrence and I can hear everyone gasping and throwing down judgements from here. But you see, it’s really not that cut and dry, sometimes mothers have to make the excruciating decision to leave their children, for their children.

Kira’s marriage had been on the rocks for quite a while, she and Kev had been together a long time but the relationship had become very co-dependent. Kira’s mental health was sketchy at best, her first child had been born when she was just 15 and had been taken from her a few years later, the state put the child with her mother but as their relationship was bad, Kira wasn’t granted visitation. She moved onto an abusive partner from where she had to flee with just the clothes on her back and her new baby Taylah. Kira had spent time in jail for a traffic offence shortly after meeting Kev and Kev had stuck by her and even cared for Taylah, who was only a toddler, during that time.

After she got out of jail Kira had lost her drivers license for an epic 10years so she relied heavily on Kev who worked and took care of both of them, they moved to his parents bush block in our small country town and he drove Kira wherever she needed to go. Eventually they had baby Haley together but things were always very hard financially and emotionally. Kira had never received therapy or support for the abuse she had sustained as a child and had slowly become a severe alcoholic, she is also dependent on prescription pain medication and was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder somewhere along the way too. Other than Kev and a few mates that only came by to drink with her on weekends she had no support network and was lonely, isolated and understandably depressed.

Despite all that she has been through, Kira is a really lovely person, not a mean bone in her body and despite little education and years of substance abuse she is an intelligent, polite woman who cares deeply for her children and is desperate for them to have a better life than she did. So, you might ask, if her husband has been caring for her all these years and she loves her children so much, then why on earth is she leaving?

Like everything, there is no simple answer, Kira has been stuck, emotionally and physically isolated. She’s suffered every kind of imaginable Hell over the course of her life – neglect, abuse, teen pregnancy, poverty, having a child taken from her, mental illness, physical trauma and pain, time in jail as well as continuing addiction and she has never been given the opportunity to work through these things beyond the crisis care stage. Every now and then she becomes inspired and motivated to improve her life, she starts to work on cleaning up their disheveled home, it is perhaps on the back of a hypomania but she tries really hard to drink less and reduce the amount of substances she uses but quitting alcohol without medical supervision is dangerous for a person with her level of addiction and the temptation of self medication for the pain and isolation always tends to overthrow her deepest resolves.

Also, to Kira it seemed as though every time she began to try and improve her life Kev had been unconsciously trying to sabotage her efforts. She couldn’t understand why he became very snappy about her substance issues once she began to cut down and then angry about the messy state of their home after she had begun to clean it up. When she eventually got her drivers’ license back and had made a huge effort to limit her substance use so that she could safely drive. She felt he was road blocking her efforts to get a job and then he seemed happy when after one day they had had a fight and she made a very poor decision to drive under the influence and subsequently got caught losing her license once again. They seemed to end up getting into bigger fights the more Kira tried to improve herself and she would feel more alone than ever and turn back to old habits to numb the pain.

Perhaps he had been caring for her for so long that the possibility of her gaining independence frightened him, if she didn’t need him anymore, would she still want him? I don’t know, I’m not a shrink. But I did understand when Kira said to me that if she was ever going to make the important changes to her life that she needed to make for herself and her girls that she wasn’t able to live with Kev while she was doing it and as heartbreaking as it was, she knew she was not able to provide a stable, safe enough environment for the children and they needed to continue to live with Kev.

So, that fateful day we left Taylah and Mr 15 at their friends place and headed towards the city. We had a good talk and Kira cried and cried about how guilty she felt and what an awful mother she had been and all the bad decisions and horrible circumstances. I tried to reassure her that she was one of the most loving mothers I had ever met and to be able to make that heartbreaking decision of leaving them both with Kev because she knew it was in their best interests right now took a huge amount of strength. We discussed that this didn’t mean she would never be able to see her daughters again, there were no court orders involved and Kev was hurt and angry but not vindictive at all so she could call them every day. I told her that this was her time, now was her chance to find herself, to care and nurture that lost little girl inside her that had never been given a chance.

We hugged as I left her in the care of a friend in the city, he and his wife would take her in for a few days and help her find some more long-term accommodation. I headed back home and picked up the teenagers, Taylah knew her Mum was going away for a bit, Kira had sat her down the previous night and told her what was happening and asked her if she was okay to stay with Kev. But Taylah had shrugged it off saying “you’ll be back”. Taylah looked at me as she got back into the car “Did you drop her in town?” I nodded, “Who’s she staying with?” I told her and she looked relieved. She is all too aware of the negative influence of some of her mother’s friends.

We got back to Taylah’s farm and I thanked Kev for letting Miss 9 play. I was just about to leave when little Haley suddenly asked “hey, hang on, where’s Mum?” It broke my heart. Taylah and I looked at Kev and Kev sighed deeply “She’s visiting a friend in town…” “Oh okay, are you picking her up Kate?” she asked me innocently. “Come on inside Missy, it’s getting cold” Kev ushered Haley into the house and nodded goodbye to me with a sad smile knowing he about to have to have a very hard conversation.

I really hope Kira is able to tap into the amazing strength she doesn’t realise she has and finally work through her past so that she can create a better future for herself; she has made some bad choices, but she deserves hope and so do her girls.

*Names changed to protect privacy

Pandora’s Paradox

You know what I seem to have discovered recently? Much to my confusion and subsequent awe at the capabilities of the human mind… I figured out what caused me to start becoming suicidal before the age of 8 and why it developed into a pattern of chronic suicidal ideation throughout my adult years. ( spoiler – cliche childhood issues.)

You know what triggered the whole damn thing? Well, it was actually many little traumas over a short space of time that are super complicated and I won’t go into right now… But ultimately they culminated in the same thing – a lack of control and a fear of death.

Yep, being suddenly thrust into an unknown world I couldn’t control and then having a series of unfortunate experiences then a trauma that made me terrified of a particular type of death and then nightmares and flashbacks of said trauma, not being able to process that fear (due to the fact that I was 6years old and didn’t want to burden my mother who was going through her own stuff) is actually what slowly started me down this long and windy lesser travelled path of becoming chronically suicidal.

Short version: I choose when and how I die, then I can’t possibly die that way. = Control.

I also somehow figured out how to dissociate when I was frightened and got just good enough at it to block out my specific fear totally and as long as no 3rd party brought it up specifically (in any context, at any point over the next 27 years of my life) I could block it from my daytime thoughts adequately and had perceived CONTROL over it. Dissociation became something I would subconsciously use to varying degrees when I couldn’t handle or understand what was happening around me and I still do, but now that I know what it is I can be mindful if I notice it starting to happen and question the deeper reasons for it.

I got a little older (age 7ish) and a little plump and started getting bullied by other kids at school for being fat, I had no idea about the relationship between the extensive amount of junk food I ate and my weight gain yet so I took ‘control’ over the situation in the only way I could come up with and bullied myself first. I used my dissociation talents to not only watch from afar when I was being beaten or teased but somehow created an almost seperate part of myself that took the beatings. She looked at me as I believed the bullies saw me and could handle these punishments without crying as she fully believed I/we deserved them. I used her presence to tear myself to shreds emotionally until I believed everything she told me whole heartedly- she had control over my thoughts about my appearance and self worth and if I had no self esteem left, then none could be taken from me by anyone else – so I thought I had control too.

Another long story short, I used to hear voices – or more like hear random thoughts that didn’t belong to me. Mum thought they were spirits communicating to me because a.) she was into that type of thing and b.) some of the stuff I said that I couldn’t have known had actually happened. Around age 8 I heard a voice that told me I was going to die at a certain age, as my mother had told me I was psychic, I believed the voice and it scared the crap out of me, but of course I couldn’t tell her because I didn’t want to upset her. Around that age the bullying was bad my self esteem was non-existent and I fell into the first real depression I remember having, I decided for the first time that I wanted to kill myself. If I was dead the sadness would stop so repeatedly tried all I could think of at that age but of course I failed to hold my breath until I passed out let alone passed away. Around then my Mum was in a terrible car accident and nearly died. I remember feeling really scared that she could die and guilty because I was the one who wanted to.

Mum recovered, that deep depression left but every six months or so the depression fairy visited and the familiar overwhelm came back. As I got older and more knowledgeable, I became more and more comfortable with the idea of wanting to end my life until it became almost a fantasy, a security blanket. I would plan out the various ways I could do it without getting caught, how I would make it look like an accident so I didn’t upset my parents. Making the unnecessarily intricate plans was enough to fill my desperate urge to self annihilate without actually needing to go through with it. Plus I was terrified that I would mess it up and be labeled as an attention seeker – a fate I felt was much worse than death.

Age 12 – watched from a dissociative distance as I was sexually assaulted by someone I thought was a friend, my fix? Promiscuity, I guess subconsciously I thought if I put myself out there first then nobody could take my body from me against my will.

Age 13- Hating my teenage mood swings (what was unbeknownst to me bipolar disorder rearing it’s ugly head) embarrassed myself and my friends all the time and then hypomanically thought it was a good idea to shave my head *facepalm*, friends gave up on me so met some new ones, formed a misfits group and started wagging school, drinking and smoking pot – rebellious control.

Age 14 – Overweight, bullied constantly along with the rest of the misfits, with the self esteem of a dead slug I decided to finally take charge of my body and show the world what I was made of, who I could be. Result? Full Blown Anorexia – once again, control…

Age 15 – quit school,  Age 16 – moved out,  Age 17 – 1st baby, postnatal psychosis…

I’ll stop there, you can buy my book if you’re interested in the sordid details of my soap opera life (if I ever publish the damn thing!) Yeah, so I wasn’t exactly the poster child for a perfect teenager and it’s a bloody miracle I didn’t end up a junkie or dead, but now the point I was actually trying to get to when I started writing this post is just how spectacularly things can spiral out of control, and perhaps my life would have looked quite different if I had only felt okay about telling my Mum I was scared back when I was 6 or that I needed her to help me when I was bullied, or that I needed boundaries when I was a teenager or that I needed her to make the hard decision and get me proper help for my Anorexia…

My Mum and Dad were really nice, non-judgemental, loving parents too so realising that so many of my issues can in fact be traced back to not feeling able to share my fears in early childhood and a lack of boundaries in later childhood is confusing for me. They always seemed to hold me in such high regard and treated me as an equal and a friend so I carefully hid most of what was going on with me because I was so scared of hurting or disappointing them when what I really needed was some firm parenting. It scares me because I fear how much I have messed up my own children with all that I have put them through.

Sorry, this turned into a ramble rather than anything informative or helpful… Opening up Pandora’s Paradox if you like. I’m glad things ‘went wrong’ the way they did because otherwise I wouldn’t have my wonderful husband and children or all of you guys. Perhaps I just needed to think over things and vent today, but I guess it’s my blog and I’ll vent if I want to 😉

Did childhood fuck you up?

 

Is Suicide 100% Preventable?

The awareness campaigns have good hearts, they are filled with messages of hope and positivity, their aim is to remind people that they can always choose life! But when they proclaim that suicide is 100% preventable, they are sending a message that I feel is not only inaccurate, but one that could potentially cause a lot of emotional harm to the surviving friends and families.

If we want to be painfully technical then yes suicide may be 100% preventable, but for no reason other than the suicidal person can decide not to do it. You may disagree with me, “of course it is preventable” I hear you say, “we just need to look for the warning signs, we need to ask people if they are okay, we need to provide them with helplines and good access to mental health care!” While awareness is extremely important and those are all wonderful ways to help people, my main problem with the thought process behind it, is the fact that when interventions are unsuccessful, grieving families are left behind blaming themselves for not saving their loved one from a “100% preventable” death.

One of the most important lessons we can learn as human beings is that yes, we can absolutely influence our environment and the people around us, but the only thing we can completely control is ourselves and our own actions and reactions to situations. Implying that it is possible to prevent another persons suicide, ALL the time, 100% of the time, is putting an unjust amount of responsibility, pressure and blame onto those left behind.

People miss ‘red flags’ all the time, some seem so obvious in hindsight, but such is the nature of hindsight. Often though, the warning signs are much more subtle. The fact of the matter is we are human beings, not mind readers and we simply have to accept what we are being told, and many, many suicidal people lie about how they are feeling. Sometimes even when the warning signs are recognised, when professional help has been sought, despite therapies and medications and lifestyle changes, in the end the final decision lies with the suicidal person, I should know, it happened to me.

I was actually hospitalised in a psychiatric unit sectioned involuntarily under the mental health act the night I reached the rock bottom of my 2015 Bipolar depressive episode and took the overdose that nearly ended my life. There I was, in a safe place, surrounded by trained mental health professionals that wanted to help me, and yet I was still intent on and able to attempt suicide. Now people that hear this story tend to jump in and play the ‘blame game’ at this point, I’m quite sure my family did when they first found out I was in a coma in ICU.

Where was the hospital in all of this? You might ask, wasn’t I supposed to be in their care? I was clearly unwell and deemed enough of a risk to myself that the state had decided to involuntarily detain me, so how on earth had I managed to acquire enough tablets to overdose so spectacularly and why didn’t anyone notice and stop me?

But you see, even though I was definitely unwell and yes, in the hospital’s care, there was nothing they could have done differently at the time to prevent this outcome. When it came down to it, the decision to end my life was entirely my own and I had in many ways made it long before going to hospital, long enough to research and plan a foolproof method of smuggling a fatal dose of prescription medication past the extensive security measures and onto a locked ward and then have it prepared and ready to go ‘just in case’ I was ever sectioned and wanted to die. I was also then sneaky enough to perfect my timing of taking it around the regular room checks as not to arouse suspicion. Although, had I died that night, a court of law may have found I was not of sound mind and thus not legally accountable for my own actions, the fact of the matter is, my suicide attempt was not 100% preventable, it was absolutely suicide in the 1st degree and the only person who would have ever been able to prevent it, was myself. It was purely luck that a nurse stuck her head in my door when she had to unexpectedly check on a different patient who had cried out and happened to find me unconscious just as my breathing began to cease that I am even here to tell this tale.

So, I believe that leaving the grief stricken loved ones of suicide victims with the message that absolutely all suicides are preventable only serves to leave them with terrible feelings of guilt, lamenting over what they ‘could’ve, should’ve, would’ve’ done better when in reality, the outcome was not their control.

While suicide might not be 100% preventable it is still very preventable; and it is absolutely something that as a community we can help to reduce. We can do this by teaching our children and peers the importance of good mental health and how to achieve and maintain it, continuing to raise awareness of mental illness thus reducing the attached stigma, we can quietly or loudly spread the message that during a crisis in one form or another help is always available and most importantly, within our capacity to safely do so, we can be there for family and friends who are struggling, to help out a bit or just listen in a loving and non-judgmental way.

Do you feel suicide is 100% preventable?

Emergeth the Phoenix

So, I’ve been hiding from the world for a little while now, I crashed into self-pity and depression, logged out of social media, turned off the computer and avoided real life as much as I could. But I survived it. I have been doing a lot of soul searching and a lot of self-discovery lately in an attempt to rise from the ashes of my unforgiving mind and understand the reason that this was so hard for me on a deeper and more spiritual level. I have been spending a lot of my days working on understanding the importance of and absorbing lessons that the universe has really been throwing at me repeatedly in different ways for years but I was blind to them and now perhaps I am more willing to see and even finally start learning from some of them.

No, I won’t pretend that I have found all the answers, I haven’t, nobody has all the answers anyway, that would be impossible because the questions are different for each of us and generally speaking the more we know, the more we know we don’t know. I estimate that I have found around 14% of my own answers surrounding the meaning of life and my purpose. I am, like all humans, still very much a work in progress, although perhaps I am a little less lost than I was prior to my break and now I at least feel like I have found a map.

I have been becoming more and more willing to change my thinking over the last few years and through acceptance and growth I have made some great strides forward. Unfortunately, I also have some deeply ingrained methods of dealing with things, particularly situations that I feel are out of my control, my go to being running away from them, (which I have blogged about before) and that is exactly what I did yet again when I left. I got upset and scared and so I ran away from one of the most important things in my life (my blog) before it could run away from me. Of course, that doesn’t do anything but illicit a false sense of control. Ultimately, I had still lost the thing I cared about and I that left me miserable.

Having locked myself away from all of you and laying hidden under the dark covers of my bed sobbing and feeling sorry for myself for driving away all of my friends for a few weeks I finally realised that really, I hadn’t driven all of my friends away at all. Yes I had upset a few people, and they were people I really cared about, but then I had chosen to drive myself away from everyone else as well in a paradoxical effort to prevent myself from feeling the abandonment and fear of potentially driving everyone else away too. At least then I was alone on my terms and still retained some semblance of control over the situation. So yeah, it was still my fault, but in a different way to what I had believed and I had the power to do something about it.

My psychiatrist M asked me how long I was planning on punishing myself by not blogging the first week that I stopped, and I couldn’t answer her, my depression was bottoming out at that stage and I was deeply unsure if I would be alive much longer anyway. I felt like I had said goodbye and that was it, it was silly for me to return now if I was just going to disappear again. I had not only stopped writing on the blog, but I had stopped writing in general – I had banished myself from the one thing that I knew had the ability to pull me out of the hole because although I hated feeling that way, I also subconsciously desperately craved the uncomfortable comfort and paradoxically safe familiarity of being suicidal.

M told me that I could make the decision to write again any time that I liked and that the only person stopping me, was me. I intellectually knew she was right, my writing fills such a huge part of my soul and so punishing myself by withholding it seemed appropriate. But of course, that doesn’t serve to benefit me at all long term, it’s simply denying me from being my authentic self which has been something I have spent a decent amount of time preaching about the importance of nurturing.

I woke up one morning and the depression veil had lifted, yesterday’s earnest reasons to die seemed suddenly less important, and as depression gave way once again to a rather somber but unmistakable hypomania I let myself spill the words that were now rushing around and overtaking my frenzied mind out into the notes section of my phone writing endless streams of poetry and general garble.

Despite allowing myself to write again, I wasn’t ready to share again until now. I needed a bit longer to think and grow. My bipolar was still as volatile as a brown snake in the summer sun and I knew that if I did come back to the blog, I wanted to return with a deeper sense of self and clearer sense of purpose so that I could avoid repeating the same mistakes again.

Over the years I have been writing I have slowly but surely gained a tremendous amount of wisdom and insight into how people think, but somehow avoided applying it to my own self. Perhaps my Ego thought it was above it, perhaps I didn’t think I deserved the clarity, perhaps a little of both. But recently I actually started challenging my own destructive habits and patterns of thinking and questioned how and why those unhelpful thoughts and behaviours had actually somehow served to subconsciously benefit parts of me over the years and how and why awareness of the reasons behind those patterns of thinking meant that they could now be healed and changed rather than continuing to take the easy route of simply blaming all my feelings and mood swings on childhood traumas, other people or my Bipolar diagnosis.

Yes, my moods are more difficult to control and fluctuate more wildly due to my Bipolar Disorder, however, I also have far more power over myself than I have given myself credit for and I feel that the more I work on healing my old wounds and nurturing myself, the more tools I will have available to me in times of crisis and therefore my mood swings will hopefully begin to have a less detrimental effect on my life.

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Now I am ready to write publicly again, I even have created some goals around it, I have some new areas of my website that are a bit different from the usual journal style nature of my blogging, if you are interested then you can check them out by navigating in and around the links at the top of the page. These are static information pages, basic things about Bipolar Disorder, Eating Disorders, Self-care tips and so forth. There is information content about things such as Therapy as well as links to better information content on other sites, some personal experience stories, a few funny bits like ‘How to speak Aussie‘ as well as some Resources that I have generally found helpful. I obviously have a lot more I want to do here but there are only so many hours in a day.

I am also looking into / thinking about maybe developing a YouTube channel and putting a bit of information content and humorous content on that, because I am trying to be more authentically me and as much as I hate to admit it, the authentic me is an extraverted attention seeker, so this will allow me to develop more ways to fulfil my narcissistic desire for attention and approval on a whole new platform! 😉 What do you guys think of that? Is it something you would be interested in?

Lastly, I wasn’t reading blogs while I was gone so I can only imagine how much has happened for all of you, I apologise if I have missed something significant, but as you may imagine I had a ridiculous amount of blog post notifications in my e-mail when I finally re-opened my computer and sifting through each one was too overwhelming so I deleted the whole folder and will attempt to catch up with individual blogs best that I can over time. I Love you guys and thanks so much for all the messages and comments of love and support, I appreciate you all for sticking with me while I have been working on becoming a Phoenix, now hopefully we can all learn to fly together!

xoxo Kate

My Final Post

Some days we wake up ready to tackle the world, some days we wake up wondering why we are still in it.

Some days the future isn’t just bleak, it has vanished all together, the perfect fantasy land from a long forgotten yesterday has now gone, stolen somehow by the circling dusts of an invisible sand storm.

This powerful unpredictable storm that always comes at me like a curse and so often hits out of nowhere, when I am walking, driving, sitting down playing with the children. Suddenly the air changes and I only have a moment before it is surrounding me, furiously whipping my legs and stinging my eyes. It’s whistling winds hauntingly whisper that it won’t get better again, this time it can’t get better, this is the end. The voices in the wind tell me over and over again until I can only believe that it’s Gods honest truth. 

This sand storm belongs only to me, it has once again overtaken my mind with all its force, smothering me, feeding on what was left of my hope and blinding me from seeing any other possible realities except this one laid out before me now. 

I feel as though I am endlessly fighting a battle I don’t want to be involved in, one I didn’t sign up for, one day I just woke up and discovered that mental illness had not only become a part of my world but it had completely taken over and while it sometimes steps out for a while, the respite is short lived, for it always comes calling again, sometimes suddenly, sometimes slowly creeping back into my life undetected until it’s too late to usher it away. 

 Love is not always enough to justify suffering through the torture of this personal war zone and I find myself searching frantically for any suitable excuse not to have to blatantly show the ones who love me that I can’t love them enough to stay alive for them a moment longer. Methods that hide my intent rattle through my brain, snake bit? A car accident? Why couldn’t I just be allergic to peanuts? I fantasise about peacefully slipping away into the darkness, heart failure? Stroke perhaps? Anything that doesn’t leave my children having to utter the bitter phrase “my mother killed herself” for the rest of their lives.

Nothing has changed really to bring this storm back upon me, it’s the ebb and flow of being Bipolar but accompanying this particular change of tide comes a wave of regret and the timely reminder that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Unfortunately I always have a pocket full of rocks and deep seeded impulsivity issues that end with me saying or doing something stupid and hurtful.

Part of me can be an overconfident, flirty extrovert, it’s an unfortunate personality trait, perhaps flaw, that has developed into a bad habit carried by all of me.

Most of the time I don’t intend to be anything other than polite or friendly and even then the tendency toward extroversion can cause problems. While I don’t want to palm a personality issue off on mental illness or use Bipolar as an excuse for my poor behaviour, if I’m erring on the side of hypomania or in a mixed episode I lose my inhibitions, I start talking too fast and thinking too much sometimes I get hyper sexual and I can get a bit too carried away with silly things like word play and innuendo. When I do engage in this sort of thing it’s not meant as anything more than being cheeky and having a laugh, it’s generally online with people I don’t really know and will never meet, hashtag games and the like.

Occasionally it’s with people I do know and it gives them the wrong idea about my intentions, people with families and partners, people I have no business acting this way around. It’s something I hate about myself and yet sometimes I get carried away in a moment, grab hold of a snippet of something and run with it blurting out something that is totally inappropriate without having paused for breath or to look at the big picture. I end up hurting people that I care about, people I never, ever wanted to hurt.

Maybe its subconscious habit left from the attention seeking years of my youth, although I certainly don’t want that kind of attention nowadays, I grew up as the fat ugly girl and was informed as such by my peers at every opportunity from year 3 onwards. There was no doubt in my mind that I was a worthless piece of shit. Any positive attention was only ever given to me physically and either taken without consent or hidden in the drunken darkness of unspoken nights. The internet became a thing and at 14 I discovered people would listen to what I had to say if my hideous appearance was hidden behind a keyboard, there I could engage in both opinion and sexual fantasy in the company of much older men without the fear of being hurt; I learned how to flirt and I had fun doing it.

That was a long time ago, I’m happily married now, we have 4 kids and have been together since I was 16. I have never and would never cheat on my husband, I love him with my whole heart and for reasons I will never understand and despite everything I’ve put him through he loves me too.

 Yet despite this fact and thousands of dollars in therapy I’ve never learned to control that now habitual tendency to flirt with men and sometimes women.

It’s never been with an intentional goal, I never want anything other than a conversation and I never set out to hurt people’s feelings. It actually goes so heavily against my moral code and core values to hurt people, that when I do, especially over things like this that I feel would be so preventable if I could only change this hateful part of myself, it eats me up and leaves me sleepless, sobbing into my pillow and wanting to die, preferably slowly and painfully to counter the heart ache and suffering I have caused to others.

The pain and fear of my childhood has never left me, and I made a promise to myself many years ago that because I knew what it felt like to be hurt, I would never cause suffering to another person, and yet the fact is that even with my best intentions I still manage to fuck up more often than not and cause pain and heartache everywhere I go either by getting ‘caught up in a moment’ or saying or doing stupid things before thinking.

To be able to inflict such misery, even accidentally, just proves to me that I don’t deserve to be here, I have no right to be using social media as a platform for fighting stigma, or for honesty and truth when I am not even capable of living according to my own values.

 I’m declaring my head a failed state, and I am beating a hasty retreat, there have been too many casualties and not enough progress. Someone like me doesn’t deserve to be given infinite chances, I haven’t earned the right to be loved or listened to or have people care about me the way they do and there is ultimately nothing good that can come from my being here because all of the good contributions I made are overridden by the hurtful ones.

So I’m done hurting people, I can’t live like this anymore and I hate myself too much. This will be the last time I go to battle with my mental illness, my final chance to prove to myself that I can be a good person. A private war to end all of those unwinnable, endless wars I have been fighting in my mind for as long as I can remember. The apex has been reached, I have nothing left to lose and I’m ready to duel with my demons, even Jeff.

This will be my final post here for a while, possibly forever. I feel terrible that it has come to this, and I am truly sorry to those people I have hurt, you know who you are. I wish I could take it all back but I can’t, and I will regret my actions to my dying breath. I am also sorry to those people I owe reviews and guest posts to, but it is for the greater good that I fight this last fight back in the real world with my doctors and family by my side.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my words and for opening up and sharing your lives with me, I am forever humbled by that opportunity to take a glimpse into another’s world. Thank you also for the unending love and support, it’s been quite a ride. This is an amazing community and I am grateful you let me be a part of it. 

xoxo Kate

Bipolar Disorder, it is What it is.

My biggest failure in life right now is my continued expectation of a clear-cut black and white scientific explanation of my unusual thought processes to be handed to me on a silver platter by a well-spoken Englishman. This is to be immediately followed by delivery of a ‘quick fix’ pill or piece of advice that will counter all of my mental health shortcomings with absolutely no side effects whatsoever. Yes, I continue to expect such revelations even though I know deep down that such a thing simply does not and cannot exist. We can’t learn and grow without those unpleasant experiences being there to teach us, but you can’t blame a girl for dreaming, right?

The last few weeks have been weird. Off. I don’t know quite how to describe it, I’m not myself, not that I am really even able to define ‘myself’ as one self these days, we are not ‘ourselves’? Bah. That doesn’t feel right either. It’s too complicated, so off and on, in and out not to mention the ups and downs of the manic depression that intertwines throughout my crisis of identities and frankly I am too tired to think about any of it without my mind exploding, the trouble is, it all exists within my head and so the fear circles like a great white shark, slowly waiting for the right time to drag my body with it into the depths below and rip apart my very soul.

If you were to look at the technical DSM definition of depression right now then I suppose I would qualify as heading into another depressive episode, Bipolar Disorder is so painfully repetitive and volatile. I was manic only a month or so ago although it feels like a millennia now. I knew and understood the secrets of the universe and the meaning of life, it was all I cared about, I wanted to write books about it, start affordable mental health retreats for people to get away from their responsibilities for a while and find themselves through therapy, good nutrition, like minded peers and ongoing plans for the future, all without the stigma of hospitals. Blah, blah, blah… All the good intentions, started letters to ministers and psychiatrists, lists of potential investors, grant application information… All forgotten once more, simply written off as another manic delusion of grandeur, delusion of thinking that maybe I would be able to actually do some good in the world.

And now? I still hold that “awareness” of those universal secrets but for reasons I cannot explain the passion has vanished, I don’t care about them, they feel like hum drum old news. It is knowledge that doesn’t seem to matter anymore, been there done that. Perhaps that is because once you have knowledge of the meaning of life you know that it is ultimately irrelevant, we are asking for answers to questions we already have been given answers to simply by our existence. The basic goal is living, and living a good life here on earth regardless of circumstance, ‘good’ defined not by a God or a religion or even another human, ‘good’ as defined by yourself. Don’t know what I mean? Listen to yourself, feel around for a bit, some people call it your conscience, you’ll find it.

I know all this and yet I don’t care anymore, maybe the fact that it’s all up to me leaves me with an overly simple choice, I can try and make good with what I have or I can give up. We all know what I should do but there are so many times when I just don’t know if I can be bothered anymore, I’m tired, so very tired, and there are many times when laying down to die seems like a perfectly acceptable and far more practical option.

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You can give me the science of Bipolar Disorder’s effect on brain chemicals until the cows come home, I know, I get it! “What goes up must come down”, yeah, I know, “tablets help”, yes, yes, I know! I am intellectually aware that even though at this very moment I just want to give up, I will feel good again in the future and realistically despite how it feels, I haven’t actually been feeling bad for very long at all. I will probably feel not only good in the future but AMAZING and there is a reasonable chance that I will believe I am receiving messages from God about the secrets of the universe again because Bipolar Disorder just is what it is.

There is also that little haunting, niggling truth that my Bipolar Disorder is going to be with me forever no matter how much I exercise or what concoction of tablets I take, it’s here for life with its good, its bad, its happy and its sad; oh how I love it and how I hate it. I wouldn’t be without it for all the passion, enlightenment, creativity and open-mindedness it gifts me with it must be so mind numbingly boring being ‘normal’ and yet the all-consuming darkness that inevitably follows the high always leaves me burning in a hell of my own making wondering why I continue to do this to myself. At least nowadays I know why it’s happening and what to expect from it, it’s a bit like Groundhog Day in that you can improve yourself with each cycle repetition, only you can’t erase the stuff ups, and there will be stuff ups.

I hate that I have dragged my family into this world with me, without their consent. I sometimes think of leaving them because I feel if I lived alone then at least I would only be hurting myself but then I wouldn’t have my husband or my children, my pets, I wouldn’t have all those reasons to keep going each day… There is no easy solution, I just have to accept it and play the hand I have been dealt the best I can for as long as possible, and I suppose, so do they. For better or worse, a blessing and a curse.

Talking To Strangers – Richard

I dropped off Miss 9 at a sleepover yesterday, because we live in the middle of nowhere the kids go to school in a more central small town about 40km away, the trouble is that is a central school and so all of their friends are spread around up to 50km in any direction, my kids always pick friends on the other side of the school. Anyway, I needed to stop in town and go to the chemist on the way home, but by the time I had finally dropped off madam and gotten back to town it was after midday and apparently small town chemists still shut shop Sunday afternoons.

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Anywho, an old man happened to be selling books at a little card table set up outside the closed shop, I took a glance as I walked by and noticed the word ‘Manic’ was on the front cover of the display book so of course it made me stop and look closer. The man introduced himself as Richard Murray and gave me a lowdown on his works.

His book is called “God’s Obedient Potter” and it’s his memoir about his relationship with God and how that has been influenced by his mania’s. Now, I’m not a religious person – spiritual in varying degrees when manic, but not religious. Despite that fact, I really wanted to buy the book, I suppose mostly because he’s a local author who shares my affliction and I wanted to support him. Also there is a white flag on the cover and for the last few weeks the ‘white flag’ analogy has been haunting me in coincidental ways normally reserved for moments of mania, so I felt as though it must have been meant to be in some way or another.

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I didn’t have $25 on me at the time so I asked him if he would be there the following week, he smiled and picked up a copy of his life’s story from the stack on the table, took out a black sharpie and signed it for me with his worn hands, shaking violently from years of mood medication. He placed the book into my own hands and told me that if I enjoyed it I could pay him next time I see him around the place or if I couldn’t find him then I could give the money to charity instead.

We talked for a while, he was lovely and I accepted the book and read it this morning (it’s only fairly short.) We are very different people, very different lives and grew up in different era’s with different baseline beliefs and yet we are still kin who have when we boil it all down, experienced the same ‘enlightenments’ as gifts of our manic episodes as well as spent time in the same psychiatric facilities.

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I don’t know about being called a very “God Loving Woman” but I appreciate the sentiment 😉

I love reading the memoirs of others with Bipolar or similar mental illness’s, some are amazing and unforgettable in the way that they speak to me, but of course authors have varying levels of writing talent. Some books are depressing, some incredibly uplifting, but all in all they are always fascinating because they are relatable stories. It is nice to be let in to another person’s world for a few hours and remember that we are not alone in our craziness.

We are all the same despite our differences and we have just used our own beliefs and existing knowledge of the world to give reason and meaning to our experiences in unique ways. I enjoyed reading Richards story and I hope I get a chance to chat to him some more and thank him for sharing his story when I find him again to pay him.

 


 

Speaking of books, here’s a link to my review that was published on The Good Men Project’s website over the weekend of Ryan Heffernan’s epic memoir “Clown & I.” If you haven’t already, check it out! 

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Ryan, I totally stole this pic off the website, I’m sure you don’t mind 😉

 

 

 

Mystery Blogger Award

Wow, I feel very appreciated at the moment! A big thank you to Lawrence who blogs over at Being Bipolar for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award! Lawrence lives in France and writes (in both English & French) about his life with the daily challenges of bipolar disorder. Make sure you head over to his blog and check it out!

What is Mystery Blogger Award?

“This is an award for amazing bloggers with indigenous posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.” – Okoto Enigma

Rules:

  • Thank whoever nominated you and include link to their blog
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • Nominate 10-20 bloggers you feel deserve the award
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice with one weird or funny one
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

 

Three Things About Me: (Kate)

  1. I prefer Pepsi Max to Coke Zero and I like it at room temperature not fridge temperature.
  2. I can say the alphabet backwards in less than 4 seconds – yeah, yeah I know it’s lame and I keep bringing it up, but I am a little bit low in the talent department okay!
  3. I am in my 30’s and still can’t cut in a straight line.

 


 

Lawrence’s Questions For Me:

How do you see a glass, half full or half empty?

Well, that REALLY depends on my mood at the time and who’s glass it is! I’d have to say both, I can be the most positive person on the planet in relation to anyone else in the world and even myself if I am manic, but when depression sets in I can be looking at a rapidly emptying cup with no chance of re-fills.

What do you prefer, to read a book or to listen to music?

Oh thats really difficult… I don’t want to pick because both words and music soothe my soul and carry me through the rollercoaster ride of mental illness. Gun to my head then I guess I would have to say listening to music because I can do it in more places – like while driving, running, trying to sleep etc.

What do you like most about mother nature?

Her absolute perfect balance when left undisturbed.

 

What is your favorite movie?

“Mr Right” the hilarious action/romantic comedy with Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell. I must have seen it a dozen times and it never fails to make me laugh no matter what mood I am in. If you haven’t watched it, watch it!

What do you like most about traveling?

The change of scenery and memories if I am with my family and if I am travelling alone then a long drive in the car is nice because I can listen to podcasts all the way through without being disturbed or put on my favourite music and sing my heart out without anyone else caring. Also the chance to only have to be responsible for myself – it’s very freeing.


My Nominees:
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  1. Revenge Of Eve
  2. Mental Health At Home
  3. The Smiles We Bear
  4. Family Furore 
  5. Therapy Bits
  6. Beckies Mental Mess
  7. Color Me Bipolar
  8. A Guy Called Bloke
  9. Pink Starburst Anxiety
  10. Girl In Therapy

 

My Questions:

  1. What is your favourite type of self-care?
  2. Do you own pets? And if so, how do they affect your mental health?
  3. If you had $5,000,000 to spend on something other than for your own personal gain, what would you spend it on?
  4. Are you a grudge holder or a forgiver?
  5. What is your favourite social media platform and why?

Living in a Strange & Foreign World

Right now I look around the room, the walls bend and curve oh so slightly in time to the pulse of the universe and shadows slip in and out of 3D formation. I am wondering how I got here, I’m lying on a bed that isn’t mine, in a house that isn’t mine in a world that doesn’t belong to me.

My ears ring faintly, a steady constant white noise that isn’t a bother, sometimes music plays from its staticky flow. My peripheral vision is fuzzy, I know that means the scene before me is not mine to view, yet I can’t seem to pull away from it. Shivers run through my body in a quest to change places with it’s rightful owner but we are so tired by the weight of gravity that nothing happens.

A clock ticks on the wall, intermittently taking my attention as I realise it is simply marking moments that are gone forever and doing so in infinite circles. It doesn’t care about the repetitive nature of its job, it just carries on indefinitely, around and around as all the while we watch on claiming that time is linear. 

There are no categories, boxes nor beginnings nor ends save for the ones we impose upon ourselves.

We are supposed to be taking on a business with the husband in July, I’m expected to be responsible for the secretarial side of things, learn how to use MYOB etc. A job that once upon a time I may have been able to do standing on my head (despite inevitably being bored to tears).

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It isn’t simply that I don’t want to do it, although that is also a factor, frankly I am simply not able to anymore. My attention is too divided, my ability to organise anything without a manically driven hyper focus has become foreign and impossible to recapture. In matters of daily function, I have trouble simply remembering to feed my fish and have a shower.

I can’t help run a business, especially one I have no interest in. My only discernible skill seems to be relating to folk through suitably adequate descriptions of my feelings as I experience them. On paper only of course, please don’t ask me to speak or form a logical thought about something in person, particularly if it lies outside the realm of my own personal experience and current emotion for I seem to have trouble speaking coherently and can no longer grasp new ideals nor even wholly remember previous dearly held beliefs unless I find myself delegated to the script writer position within the inner green room of my mind and I only have to watch as an actor magically speaks on my behalf.

It is though all my dreams have blurred with my memory and they are simply a faraway recollection of a story line that may or may not have ever actually belonged to me.

My presence in the world seems to lessen as each day passes. More and more often I find myself unsure of what reality is, or claims to be. 

Perhaps I am existing in a coma or as the grandiosity within would have me believe, ascending to a higher realm. It’s hard to know what to believe, they call it dissociation but perhaps it is more a realisation that I was never here at all, this, nothing more than a figment of our collective imagination.

Katie

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