**Trigger Warning – suicide, abuse, sexual stuff, self harm, intense shame**
– This was written a few days ago, I wasn’t going to post this at first… different parts of me are currently begging me not to, but at the same time I think I need freedom from it and maybe it can show others how swiftly emotions can go from 0-100 and back again. Probably don’t read it if you are triggered by dissociation or suicide. Maybe don’t read it anyway…
They’ve broken my computer. MY computer. It would be a small thing to most people but my computer isn’t just another materialistic possession to me, no, its my sacred vessel that transports me into another realm, the home of the internet and my secret second life, the only place where I am free to write, to blog, the place where I could authentically be each part of myself and feel accepted without causing pain, without repercussions. For years the only thing that has kept me alive has been the ability to pour my heart out and share my deepest and darkest thoughts and feelings with an anonymous community that have somehow become my friends. My best friends.
My thoughts spin out of control as I stare at the broken computer, I feel betrayed, grief stricken, my sanctuary and lifeline has been stolen from me. Blind rage wells up from a place deep within my soul, I yell, I curse, I blame, I hate and I regret. I regret having children, getting married, surviving my suicide attempt, I regret everything I have ever done. I want to jump up and down until my knees give way or I fall right through the old wooden floor beneath me. I need to get away.
I want to run but there’s nowhere to go, all that is in front of me are four bewildered kids watching their mother shatter into a million pieces right in front of them.
I can’t hold on anymore, I don’t know what to do. The voices in my head are rioting and the world is falling away from me. I need to release this anger that has taken me captive and scream until the window glass shatters into oblivion and I can slice open my wrists with the broken shards while I watch my crimson blood spill away into darkness, into freedom.
But I can’t. I am gagged and bound by an invisible source drawing the line I cannot cross so instead I lock myself in the bathroom, hyperventilating and wishing feverishly that I could just end it right here. I catch the reflection of a stranger in the mirror, a vile, angry woman on the verge of breaking, she’s so pitifully, disgustingly ugly. God I hate her so much.
I turn the shower on full bore, hot only until the room fills with enough steam to take that vile reflection away from sight before I can begin to realise just who it might actually belong to. I step into the scalding water, take a huge breath in and hold onto it, I want more air but there isn’t any room, I NEED to hold all of the air in all of the world inside me at once, I gape like a possessed goldfish in an effort to capture more and more air until my lungs nearly burst with the fullness, but still it isn’t enough.
My body is quivering with a combination of anxious overwhelm and oxygen deprivation, thoughts of dying circle dizzyingly inside my head as I search for an easy out, anything to get me away from this intensity. I momentarily consider shoving a shampoo bottle down my throat until I choke to death but instead I fall the shower floor sobbing.
Suddenly I find myself masturbating furiously, my head filled with anger and despair, anger at my disobedient children, my controlling husband, my hateful job, my mother, my mental illness, my slutty anorexic teenage self, the boys that abused me, my 3rd grade teacher, the nightmares, the memories, the people who hurt my innocent 6yr old self, my fucking 6yr old self for not having the strength to stand up and fight back! God how I hate her weakness in that moment! God how I want to punish her for it, punish myself for it! GOD I NEED TO BLEED, GOD I HATE MYSELF!!!
I cum violently, an intense angry orgasm, its harder than I’ve ever cum in my life. I collapse on the shower floor as the scalding water rushes over my heaving body and shame floods into my soul. Shame for climaxing from thoughts of pure hatred, memories of my abusers, memories of fear and bitter self-destructive desire. What the hell is wrong with me? I need to die for my sins, die for the sins of others. Die for not being able to protect myself. From the corner of my eye I spy my wayward razor lying behind the shampoo bottle.
I sit up but rather than pull that blade across my wrist, my body suddenly shivers in waves as I feel her take the control back of my body, she places the metaphorical mask back over my face and I feel myself instantly relax, all emotional memories from the past hour fade to black and she begins to gently shave my legs.
Left, up, down. Right, up, down.
After all we have work in an hour, the kids still need a good nutritious breakfast and someone needs to let the chickens out. Life doesn’t pause for breakdowns, neither can we.
The air outside is thick with the scent of wattle and Apple blossom, the icy chill of winter has finally passed and spring is here, well at least for a week or so, Jack Frost always comes back for one last bite before skipping hemispheres for his annual vacation.
The year has flown past so quickly, a cyclonic blur of busyness, but although the days seem only to pass faster, somehow it still feels like it was an awfully long winter.
Mentally I am exhausted, frustrated, confused… Can you think of any more words for overwhelmed?
On a seemingly normal morning while driving to work this week I was abruptly sent into absolute panic as I watched a very low flying QANTAS passenger plane flying incredibly quickly and at an awfully steep and unnatural angle seeming about to crash into the hills below.
As I drove through the mountains along the highway I lost sight momentarily, my body was shivering uncontrollably as I awaited the inevitable sight to come, plumes of thick black smoke from the debris rising into the air, emergency services flashing blue and red lights as they screeched along the road…
I rounded the corner and prepared myself for the devastating sight that surely lay before me, except as I reached the peak of the hill and looked out at the valley and town stretched out before me there was absolutely nothing there to suggest anything but the vista of a glorious spring morning.
I looked back up, the bright blue sky was clear, the plane was nowhere to be seen. It must have already crashed, there was no way it could have landed at that angle, at that speed! There is an airport in the area but the plane was going the wrong direction.
Cars were still driving along the road normally- had nobody even seen it? It was SO LOW. Surely they saw it! Why wasn’t anyone doing anything? I scoured the area, there were no visible signs of smoke, no startled banked up traffic. I turned on the radio but the local presenters were just making their usual light banter. The closer I got into the town the more confused I was about why nobody seemed bothered by this tragedy and why there was no sign of the crash site.
Then it dawned on me that perhaps I misjudged the steepness of the decent, perhaps the plane had landed safely after all and I was confused about the direction it was facing or what if it had vanished into thin air like that Malaysian Airlines flight? But the most frightening of all the possibilities and the one I don’t want to believe is, that maybe, just maybe I had imagined the whole thing.
I hate not knowing, not having reasons or explanations for so many things that happen, I don’t know what thoughts are mine, what to believe what to ignore. Life feels like a vivid dream where I’m wandering in and out of lucidity as I try to determine what is real and what isn’t.
I hate not being sure whether I’m crazy or the whole world is blind. I feel like I’m gas lighting myself, my next appointment with M isn’t until the 24th. 10 days away, nothing really, in the scheme of things – but right now it feels like an eternity; one I can’t possibly reach
Okay, some of you might get a bit lost by this post. This is Suzi and Katie giving you a bit of an update, Kate’s struggling at the moment and not on social media or writing much, she’s okay though, she had a nice day catching up with a friend on Friday, they went to the coast, rode a big old horse called Homer and enjoyed chatting for the whole drive. So we are going to be talking about some dissociation problems that have been happening (as we are feeling them right now). Yes, it will come across as weird if you have not read other posts about this or been in this situation personally. Note to new readers, this is not related to Bipolar Disorder, it is a separate struggle that we are still trying to understand fully ourselves, we have written individually here rather than all together like we sometimes do. those who know the backstory already read on, if you don’t feel free to skip this one.
Now Bel has been mostly AWOL for a long time, which has been the best thing for me as I can’t really cope with her among all the dramas happening for us at the moment, but Bel appeared out of nowhere on Friday during a trip to CostCo. We have been to CostCo before, we are not members but we used to buy things there occasionally for work functions when we worked for the government and were on the social club committee. Anyway, Bel hadn’t been around during those visits but we were with Kate’s friend J this was the first time Kate had ever been ‘fronting’ (so to speak) in that store and she isn’t as good at keeping Bel down as we are. So long story shorter, Bel was triggered really badly by the sheer quantity of unfamiliar foodstuffs and the general “OMG how many calories are in this shop?” Eating Disorder mentality and started having an internal meltdown.
This made for an interesting trip with my poor friend J who couldn’t quite grasp why her friend Kate who she’d just been at the coast horse riding with for the day went from excited and chatty to suddenly completely overwhelmed and having a massive anxiety attack in the middle of CostCo. Luckily J is a pretty forgiving sort!
Bel if you didn’t know, is the forever 14yrs old rather impulsive, sometimes aggressive part of us with the most serious eating disorder behaviour and associated anxieties – having Bel near you is kind of like experiencing intense intrusive thoughts with their own stream of consciousness and personality that argue back at you. And she was giving Kate absolute hell wanting to physically get out of there. Poor Kate was trying desperately to hold her back because they were waiting on some Pizzas to be cooked to take back home for a birthday celebration. Then Bel noticed a group of police at the registers who were buying some things and she started eyeing off the guns in their holsters wanting to break free from Kate and run over and take them by surprise, essentially with some half baked goal to shoot herself or get shot trying. *sigh*
It was really hard for Kate to manage her, grounding exercises will only get you so far when part of your mind seems hell bent on having a crisis. Luckily the police left quite quickly and then the pizzas were ready so they were able to leave, although Kate had to take a photo of the coffins on the way out for Bel, because, well she’s Bel. And Kate thought it was pretty hilarious that you could buy a coffin to use after you have died from a heart attack after eating the ridiculous quantities of food they sell. Anyway, Bel calmed a bit when they got to the car and faded back enough that they enjoyed the rest of the night. Kate even ate a slice of the pizza (which was the size of her head) as a bit of a ‘screw you’ to Bel. Which is oh-so-mature, and yet apparently still weighing on all of our minds three days later because I’m mentioning it here…
So, the next day, Saturday we went to a dear friends 50th birthday bash and our other wonderful friend E was there too, E is the only person in ‘real life’ who is aware of the full extent of my mental illness and associated issues, including the dissociation. E has known me for over 12 years as a general combo of Suzi and I, and fairly recently she met Kate, as just Kate for the first time. Which was weird for E but she was absolutely awesome about it, Kate loves her as much as I do and is trying to carve her own identity and wanted to say hi properly.
E has been having issues with her 15yr old daughter who has some severe mental health problems that are only getting worse and she has been getting bugger all useful support from the mental health crisis team etc. Now I hadn’t actually seen her daughter (who I will call C) in a couple of years, we tend to catch up away from the children so we can really talk, anyway I knew all about C’s issues which include a level of dissociation (but in a very different expression to ours) but when we saw C again I felt Bel suddenly come up and she was really excited. Bel apparently related to C and wanted to come out and talk to her, she wanted to ask her where she got her nose pierced, if it hurt, she wanted to know how C got her eyeliner like that and if she had told the nurses in the ER the previous night to go fuck themselves (C had been there for another MH crisis- and been sent home) She wanted to ask all sorts of things and yet I absolutely couldn’t let her because, well where do I start….
Have you ever tried to keep an extremely determined teenager from what they want? ITS REALLY HARD! And when you are in a crowded party scenario with other adults who know you but don’t know your situation it’s even harder. Its also hard to tell which thoughts are yours and which are hers, when she pushes like that they start blending and you have to try and speak without suddenly becoming her. Its difficult to explain properly but I liken it a little to trying to act like you are not really drunk or stoned in front of your parents…
Between all this Bel wanting to get out and talk to C, her Mum E and I were trying desperately to have a catch up deep and meaningful Adult conversation in the corner, but C kept walking over and in turn, that kept triggering Bel. It was really freaking hard to concentrate and I have absolutely NO IDEA what the best way to handle this sort of situation is, it hasn’t happened quite as intensely this before, certainly not in public. Any helpful ideas from those with similar experiences would be most welcome!
We had to leave the party, but I am going to catch up with E again privately soon, do you guys think I should tell E about this conflict? She knows a little about Bel, but she also knows about Bel’s issues and I wonder if Bel relating to C like that would just be an unnecessary worry to her? I also want E to be able to feel like she can keep talking to me, she really needs me to be a safe person to vent to.
It’s not that Bel would be intentionally malicious, but I definitely feel like she wouldn’t have anything helpful to add to C’s situation and I think we should definitely avoid C until we can understand how to handle Bel better. Should I ask my Psychiatrist M for advice on how to work through that situation if it happens again? Or better yet, prevention? Bel is obviously craving attention from someone she can relate to. I also don’t know how much we have really told M about what is going on with us, I think she knows more than I know for sure she knows because others have said things and I don’t really remember properly (if that makes sense) but if I just ask her what to do without enough background context she’ll wonder what the heck I am talking about. I also don’t know that she would know what to do anyway – she’s a bloody good shrink, but it’s a bit of an odd situation! Okay, I will leave it there for today.
Apologies that we rarely seem to find time to write or visit blogs anymore, thank you to those that have been checking in. Life is overwhelming right now and Kate will definitely try and get back into it properly when she has the time and strength.
Love, Suzi and Katie
I’ve been struggling.
I’m overwhelmed with responsibilities, frustrated by my inability to fix everything for everyone and disillusioned by the current political climate here in Australia, Hell, the world. But mostly I feel trapped, trapped by the very things I love the most, my parents, my husband, my children, our business.
All these things I love and want so badly are standing between me and my desperate innate urge to flee this mortal coil, they force me to face each day out of guilt for fear of causing even more pain and suffering.
Sometimes I want to be alive, sometimes I love being alive, and as much as I know this feeling of hopelessness won’t last forever, I can’t help but feel freshly devastated every time the dark clouds descend back down upon me.
I hate not having suicide as an option anymore, I hate feeling like I have been backed into a corner by promises. I regret agreeing to run a business that can’t fail because if it does I destroy the lives of so many people I love. My siblings live far away and ageing parents need me, my children depend on me, my husband needs me. My kids friend needs me because life can be so unfair and she has no one to depend on anymore, she doesn’t deserve to be abandoned.
I hate that my emotional well is as dry as the drought stricken paddocks. I hate that I can know and appreciate that my life is full of wonderful things and yet I still can’t seem to get my shit together.
Mostly I hate the fear that I will reach an impulsive moment and scream “fuck it, you win!” to these voices that have been running circles around my brain again lately and end up leaving everyone I love to lose their home, lose their stability and struggle through life broken and alone knowing that I abandoned them too.
I’m trying to be so much more than I am capable of being, I bit off more than I can chew and now I’m choking, gasping for breath under this sea of responsibility wanting to simultaneously do so much more and hide away and do nothing at all. The bitter truth is that now I have no choice but to try and just keep swimming.
Dissociation had been fleeting for a while, or at least I hadn’t noticed, but it’s back. The far awayness of the world which seems to exist inside a tunnel, losing hours of time. It’s affecting my work. I’m forgetting things I need to remember and I’m remembering things I need to forget.
Flashbacks of things I don’t understand, memories of dreams from long ago, the kind you feel in your body more vividly than you see in your mind.
My eyes give up on collective reality as the pixels of the universe bind together to form shadowy beings, swirling and dancing like a swarm of insects on a clear summer day.
My thoughts are becoming separated again, multiple streams of consciousness run simultaneously as they take it in turns to vie for attention.
Commentating, narrating, singing or simply chattering about nothing. I beg them to stop to just let me be, but the silence of loneliness always proves to be a deadlier prison.
Loneliness. An emotion I fiercely denied having to M just weeks ago, yet when I look deeply into my heart I realise in reality while I’m surrounded by friends, family and the voices in my head.
I am also completely alone.
As a wannabe writer, I live with the age old fear of being struck down with ‘writer’s block’. The rumour is that it’s always there, lurking in the background, threatening to steal our calling, our passion at a moments notice. I usually find it hard to imagine staring at that ominous blank page and having nothing to add, no story to tell. I feel like I will always have some sort of story to tell, even if I am too deeply depressed to articulate it into a collection of coherent sentences.
Perhaps I don’t have a right to fear writers block because unlike many writers out there, I don’t usually write for money. I am not financially or contractually tied to anyone elses timelines or expectations so if I don’t feel like writing for a few weeks, no pressure, I simply don’t write until I am once again overcome with the urge to put pen to paper, or more correctly fingers to the keyboard, and suddenly the words are just flowing uncontrollably out of my soul like projectile vomit. I call it a “Soul purge”.
I watched a movie tonight with Mum, it’s called “The Wife”. Not everyone would feel it the same level I felt it, honestly my Hubby would have probably fallen asleep, but its a film I think most writers would relate to somewhat – particularly older female writers. There are many quiet yet important points made within this movie and while many are subtle background noise rather than the main story line, they still pack quite a punch.
The final scene made me suddenly think about what the metaphor of a blank page can mean to a writer. The more I thought about it the more I realise that it means so much more, SO MUCH MORE than I had ever considered before.
We can tell an awful lot about ourselves by staring at a sheet of white paper.
What do you see when you stare at a blank page? Do you see a deadline for a job or a potential New York Times best seller? Do you see the space where you are about to reveal your innermost deepest secrets and darkest desires for the very first time? Do you see a means to an end or a stepping stone?
How does that blank page make you feel? Are you excited? Nervous? Does your heart begin to race with anxiety as the emptiness of the white paper seems to move in and out of your visual field? Do your fingers start to sweat as your mind fills with self-doubt all the while the curser just blinks at you unforgivingly, as if to remind you of an impossible starting point?
A blank page can be a clean slate, a fresh start, a new beginning, or some other cliché metaphor for an optimistic outlook or it can strike absolute terror into the hearts of writers who feel like it will never be filled.
But as was mentioned in the movie, writers always have something to say. We need to write as much as we need to breath, it’s like giving birth to a baby, if you don’t choose to push or nobody tells you to push eventually your body just starts doing it for you all by itself. When that urge overtakes you caveman style you have all the building blocks you need, but it’s up to you to make that push count so you choose to push even harder until eventually you bring your child, blog post or short story into the world.
If you are stuck for ideas then follow that old Golden Rule: Write what you know.
They only say it so often because its true! While it can be fun and challanging to write what you don’t know too (and if you feel like researching the habits of 13th century alligator hunters then go for it) but when you are staring at that blinking curser wondering if you will ever leave your computer again, adding your own experiences into your blog post or fiction writing will make things a damn sight easier. When you know what experiences have felt like first hand, you can give those experiences authentically to your fictional characters or share them directly with blog followers who may be able to strongly relate.
Rather than writing 100 blog posts about not knowing what to write about, if you are overwhelmed with fear about the blank page then write about whats at the bottom of the fear not the blankness of the page. How? Analyse yourself. What else scares you and why? (Something does, everyone is afraid of something!) Write about the fear of being afraid, why is it scary to feel fear? Does being afraid make you feel weak or unlovable? Who’s expectations aren’t you living up to? What about the fear of someone else knowing you’re afraid? Does that change their opinion of you? Is that even their genuine opinion or is that possibly your own secret or hidden opinion being reflected back upon yourself? Go deep.
Write about your most fearful painful truth, write about what that felt like in your body, did it make you tremble? Were you drenched in rivers of perspiration? Write about how it affected your outlook on the world, why it has changed you – and it HAS changed you, for better or worse and deep down you know that because you are thinking about it right now! You don’t have to show anyone that deep personal writing, you can absolutely burn it ceremoniously later on, but the realisations you will come to by laying it all out there on that blank page, will open up your mind and your heart to possibilities you never imagined and that can also really help you develop fictional characters for your next best seller or simply give your racing mind a moment of clarity and peace in which to rest and come up with an idea.
When you are stuck developing a characters personality you can try giving them traits and opinions that are vastly different to your own personal ones. Create characters that challenge your morals and ideals, let them make you angry and build off of it. Take this opportunity to use all that time you spend “what if’ing” about your real world anxieties to the next level and let them begin to form plots in this new world you are building.
Remember: You are God to your characters, you have the power to create them and destroy them. Use it. Hate some of your characters and love some of your characters, let your most spiteful characters win sometimes, it’s okay to sadistically tear apart families and shatter lives in one fucked up but powerful typing frenzy.
Life is random and so is death and despite what modern day Disney would have you believe, in the real world bad guys sometimes get away with it and good guys die young and alone. Bring that reality into your story like they did in the good old days. Have you ever actually read a Grimms fairy tale? ‘Once upon a time’ usually devolves into a twisted mind altering middle and a grizzly sadistic end for many characters especially children; only very few live happily ever after.
So when you stare into that empty white box in front of you, imagine the lives of all of those half-formed characters currently stuck inside your swirling head finally having the chance to come to life. Picture them physically running out of your head and onto the page and embrace their imperfections, laugh at how one trips over his feet, one skip’s and dances and another gets lost while distracted by a butterfly.
Give them the opportunity to explore their world, let them climb Willow trees, breath in the scented air of springtime, discover love in a seedy neighbourhood, feel heartbreak and crave revenge. Watch them grow as they lose themselves in their bizarre passions, show them the lessons they have learned through their hardships even when they can’t see them themselves for the pain.
Let your blank page become a platform for your characters to spread vivid wonder and strike incomprehensible fear into the hearts and minds of their and your friends, family and strangers as you all watch them discover exactly what it means to be distinctly and imperfectly human. And then let them, teach you.
Do you ever suffer from writers block?
I warn you this is a long one, I talked a lot about Ava in my book, she was after all my best friend for a long time. Ava, kind, caring, formidable, smart as a whip with a genius level IQ, she was the only bridesmaid at my wedding and like an aunt to my 4 children. Every time I hear Billy Joel’s “Always A Woman” I think of her and smile.
We both grew up as ‘only’ children but aside from that we had completely different upbringings and yet we were so painfully alike, it was as if we shared the same story, told in a different way.
We were painfully sensitive and volatile teenagers but where I would fear judgement and only ever allowed myself to implode, Ava couldn’t care less what people thought, happy to explode and let the whole world feel her wrath. She was brilliant at standing up for the underdogs of the world and she was alway right, especially when she was wrong.
Ava had terrible self esteem on the inside but wore the mask of confidence so well that on the surface she often appeared hostile or combative. She fought for herself when she felt wronged and she fought for me when I did, which I either appreciated tremendously or felt horribly uncomfortable about depending on the situation.
Unless I’m manic, I’m a meek little kitten with a tendency to always back down and hide, as such confrontation terrifies me. Ava didn’t put up with that nonsense, she was always up for an argument. She wanted to be a lawyer and would have made a bloody good one, unfortunately mental illness repeatedly got in the way of her dreams and university just became too much.
Sadly, Ava and I don’t talk anymore. I don’t mention that part in the book because, well because it still hurts me so deeply to think that we don’t have that relationship anymore, to think about how it ended or more rightly that I ended it.
And even more painfully, the reasons why.
There is still so much guilt locked up inside of me relating to that phone call, the last time we spoke all those years ago now.
I don’t actually remember meeting Ava for the first time, she went to my school and we talked a bit sometimes but I remember a conversation we had, it was the moment that changed everything for me.
Despite having friends to hang out with and family that loved me, this was the first time in my life that I finally felt like I wasn’t alone.
We were both in the throes of our own deeply private battles with Anorexia, it was a world before the internet made information readily accessible and while neither of us knew at the time that what we had wasn’t a just a shared passion for extreme dieting and was in fact a mental illness, we bonded over our disdain for calories and bizarrely similar food and exercise rituals that nobody else we knew understood.
We quickly became rock solid besties. She got me and I got her, on one hand we were terribly bad for one another, because honestly, the last thing a competitive anorexic teenager needs is a dieting partner! But on so many other levels our relationship was therapeutic, we laughed together, cried together and we kept each other breathing when the darkness of depression closed in suffocating us of any hope.
That’s the thing with childhood mental illness, when you seem to think and feel the world differently from everyone else but you don’t understand what’s going on or why, you tend to learn very quickly to just shut up about things or face being ostracised. Finding someone else who seems to see from your perspective is life changing, and my relationship with Ava was life changing.
I got away with a lot more than she did, her Mum was more clued on to teenage delinquency and mental health issues than my parents. Also I knew how to manipulate quietly to get what I wanted, I discovered the art of flattery and making adults happy to quickly win them over, where Ava was an open book, if she disagreed with something she yelled and screamed defensively and they didn’t like her.
I was able to hide much more of my Eating Disorder from doctors and my naive parents, I tricked and lied my way out of hospitalisation at 15 by acting innocent and pretending I had no idea what I was doing was in healthy and lied that I’d comply with a nutritionist. Ava was honest about how she felt and fought back at there suggestions and ended up being tube fed in the adolescent psych ward.
I felt horrible about it and also terrified it could happen to me so I quit school and started working full time and going out all weekend, every weekend so nobody could keep tabs on my eating and exercising habits anymore.
Time passed, we both physically recovered and mentally and emotionally declined in other ways. Always though we followed the same patterns pre determined by our personalities, she was honest to doctors about her suicidal ideation and mental health struggles and ended up baring the brunt of more stigma or simply ignored because she was asking for help.
Doctors seemed to believe that people who asked for help were only attention seeking “otherwise they just do it” is what she was specifically told. So Ava decided to “just do it” and overdosed when her mum left town for the weekend and was found just in time, purely by chance because her mum had come back to pick up something she’d forgotten. They released her two days later while she was still very suicidal with a referral to see a psychiatrist in a week.
That’s when I lost any remaining faith in the system.
Mental illness scared me. I knew I had issues, I knew my depressions were getting deeper and suicidal thoughts more lingering, but like hell I was going to admit it. Asking for help seemed to just make things worse for people so if a Dr ever expressed concern about my wellbeing I asked them about their own lives to change the subject. Worked every time.
Ava’s mental health deteriorated, like me she issues with dissociation and had always been Up or Down, but now the downs were killing her and the Ups too brought severe consequences. Debt collectors chased her while she continued to rack up debt on manic shopping spree’s. She became addicted to prescription painkillers after slipping a disc in her back and that’s when everything really fell apart.
Moving to Sydney for a fresh start went well for a while but the depression always came back and it bit hard.
She was eventually hospitalised and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I had heard of it before but I didn’t know anything about it. A nurse briefly explained it to me and when I realised it fit Ava’s life like a glove, alarm bells started ringing about my own issues, then the nurse said there were always big problems with maintaining relationships and I remember clearly thinking ‘oh good I’ve been happily married for years, I can’t possibly have it!’
Ha! Denial is a river in Egypt.
Ava was reliably unreliable often turning up on the doorstep at 10pm when she said she’d be there at midday but when I moved to the farm she was one of the few people who would make the effort to drive out and visit. She’d come when shit hit the fan too, she’d stay a few days we’d stay up until 3am talking but because of her meds she’d sleep until 1pm the next day, we didn’t have a spare room so she was on the couch in the lounge room and she got really angry if she got woken so I had to try and keep 4 children really quiet so we didn’t disturb her. It would have been okay occasionally but it was becoming more regular and Hubby was getting really angry and frustrated – I guess I was too, but it was Ava and she was basically family. Hubby said it was my place to talk to her, not his & while that was true You all know how I feel about confrontation- and besides, she was unwell and couldn’t help it. I kept quiet.
A few hospitalisations later Ava was re diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, which made a lot of sense but it also had a massive impact on her treatment- the doctors basically told her they couldn’t do anything and refused to treat her. The painkiller addiction worsened, she had to leave Uni and her boyfriend broke up with her.
She was devastated and came up to the farm again for a few days, one day she woke up and realised she had lost her medication somewhere in the house. It turned up but Hubby flipped when he heard because she was on enough drugs to tranquillise a horse and what if the kids had found them? It was becoming unsafe. Hubby said he didn’t want her to stay with us again until she was off the painkillers and while he didn’t say it, he essentially gave me the feeling that I had to choose between him and the kids or her.
The next time she rang in tears was a few weeks later, she was at boiling point and now living with her mother (they had a turmultuous relationship) asked if she could come up and stay for a few weeks. I immediately said yes because I loved Ava like a sister, I worried about her welfare and also I had no idea how to say no to her.
I rang a different friend in tears of my own when I got off the phone with Ava because I realised that this decision might cost me my marriage. My friend spoke to me for a while and asked me what I thought needed to happen, I knew that I had to tell Ava that she couldn’t come this time and I knew I had to tell her why.
I did it. It was the most awkward and painful conversation I have ever had, she just went silent why, she was so vulnerable at that moment and here I was kicking her while she was down. I could feel how betrayed she felt through the phone. Then she hung up on me and it was the last time we ever spoke.
Ive never forgiven myself for that. I want her to know that it wasn’t because she was unwell, it wasn’t because I thought she was a bad person. I felt like it was the only option I had at the time and I had to put my family first.
So much has changed since that day, my own mental health declined so much further, My ED relapsed, I too was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Borderline traits, I too was hospitalised and experienced psychosis and I also felt what it was like when close friends gave up on me.
I wish I could hug her, tell her I’m sorry, tell her I have so much more understanding of what she went through dealing with the mental health system now, tell her I know what it’s like when you decide to take your final breath and how it feels to wake up again knowing you’ve devestated your family.
Ava, if you’re out there, please know that I will always love you and always want the best for you. I’m sorry it ended like it did, but I had to do what I felt was right at the time. I thought I saw you once from a distance, pushing a stroller and I hope with all my heart it was you, that you found happiness because it hurts deep in my soul that I don’t even know if you are alive or if the burden of mental illness eventually took you from us forever. I just want to say thank you for all the amazing experiences we shared and the hope you gave me simply by being my friend.
I nearly burned myself again yesterday.
On purpose I mean, to get that twisted release that comes from binding yourself too tightly for too long until you explode in a senseless torrent of vile self-hatred leaving you with the need to die immediately. But for whatever great or awful reason, like you haven’t fed the guinea pig today or the kids are sleeping in the next room, you just cant right now.
You can’t swallow that bottle of pills you’ve been hoarding or stab yourself in the jugular with that broken ball point pen that’s been lying on the fucking floor since Saturday (CAN’T SOMEONE ELSE THROW THAT FUCKING THING IN THE BIN!?) Nope, deaths off the table so you need to find some other method of release, so you initiate a sequence of hard-core punishments on yourself for still having the nerve to exist in any way you can.
Of course, there are a whole lotta healthy ways to get a release, go for a run, scream into a pillow or have big fat orgasm… But old habits die hard and the fireplace and I? Well, we have a history.
I sat there looking at it as it danced for me with its eerie 2 in the morning glow, my chest was bubbling with intensity, my heart beating in my throat and my brain overloaded with a million words and images and things I forgot to do, things I might forget to do and that supressed grief that flares itself back into my conscious at the most inopportune of moments.
Crushing sadness at the dream I killed, fear for the future, disgust at the humongous hole that this has bored into my deepest self and confusion about the ability of day time me to just gloss over it all like it never happened and pretend pick up where I left off five years ago.
Like nothing ever happened. Like being diagnosed with mental illness, having suicide attempts and experiencing pure unbridled enlightenment never happened. Like I didn’t happen.
Throwing every life lesson we ever learned tossed aside like a piece of rubbish. Like Super Ted.
God the start of that kiddy cartoon made me bawl when I was little, probably should have been some sort of indicator of what would become of my mental health…
Thoughts still swirl around my steaming brain, I’m playing with fire sitting there, thinking this way, watching the embers fizz and spit their glowing sparkling whispers begging me to touch them.
Then my kid got up and startled me out of my ‘urge to burn’. Instead I went back to bed and tossed and turned marinading in my self-loathing trying to shake off the intensity without getting up again or waking my husband. I know he wants to help me at times like these but he’s tired and stressed and the last thing he needs right now is to be worrying about the likes of my pathetic anxieties.
I think the reason I feel so stuck right now is that I am absolutely caught up in the ‘anger’ stage of my waves of old grief and I haven’t been able to realise, or admit it to myself that I’m hurt and angry. I don’t want to be angry, I didn’t have a right to feel angry so I needed to squash the rage down with any other emotion I could possibly pile on top of it, self-pity included.
But I’ve come to a realisation that maybe to get through this I need to feel my feelings. So, Hell Yes I’m angry. I’m so fucking angry that I want to stomp and scream and cry like a 2yr old who’s dropped her icecream.
I feel like I’d finally discovered the meaning of my life and then entrapped by manic stupidity but it felt like out of the blue at the time, I got kicked to the ground, pissed on, discredited and humiliated for what was essentially a mistake. Every now and then when I start to finally feel safe and peek back up at the world through the gaps in my fingers, something small triggers me and I get kicked again. Hard. But this time, I am the one doing most of the kicking.
I’m done torturing myself, I’m done blaming myself, burning myself and pretending not to be angry. I’m also done ignoring and suppressing that little nagging voice quiety whispering “maybe this isn’t entirely your fault?”
Because you know what? What if it isn’t entirely my fault? What if it was a misunderstanding and shit happens? Just like it was 15years ago, and even some of the two thousand other times that didn’t impact my life quite so heavily. I need to stop letting mistakes or misunderstandings like these define me.
I tell people I don’t hold a grudge, but boy can I hold a self-imposed guilt trip like a champion. I don’t want to play the victim anymore, I wanna play the hero.
Right now I’m faking life everyday, dressing up and putting on a show for the world and then coming home and taking my seething core of built up emotions out on the kids. Tick… tick… BOOM!
I saw my GP the other day to pick up an ongoing referral with intentions of being honest about my impending breakdown and reoccurrence of regular suicidal ideation, I walked into her office after a morning where all the trucks on the road looked like opportunities, the first words out of her mouth were “Wow you are looking really well! Great to see!” I had my hair and make up done and was smartly dressed because I was on the way into the office. I didn’t have the heart or the capacity to tell her that I actually feel overwhelmed with 1000 stresses, particularly that I have not only let my authentic self-down but I’ve sent it on a poorly built rocket launcher to the moon and that I am absolutely not going to be able to hold it together much longer.
Unfortunately it looks like I picked the wrong profession. I should have become an actor.
So, I simply said “thank you” to my GP, asked for the referral and left. I looked “great” she would either not believe me, get upset for not picking up on it, or… I don’t know, but basically after that I felt stupid and couldn’t say anything. Doctors, if your reading, of course it’s nice to compliment a person but please don’t assume how someone with mental health issues is feeling just by looking at them.
Okay, I will have to leave this here, I’m at work and I can’t concentrate because real life keeps interrupting me, besides, I have a false image to uphold.
Ive been rather absent on here lately, real life and being back at work has zapped my energy along with the free time I used to use to sit down and read blogs.
I haven’t had much opportunity to write either, aside from a few hastily jotted down ‘phone notes’ here or there, this erks me because writing is often what keeps me sane when everything else is spiraling out of control (at least the only healthy thing!) That being said, I haven’t felt that overpowering ‘urge’ to write that has a tendency to grip me just as I start to fall asleep recently either…
When hubby and I decided to go ahead with taking over his parents Joinery business a few months ago, I knew I’d have to work in the office but I was planning to only work 3 days a week, at the moment I’m doing 5 and heaps of extra stuff at night and on weekends.
The plan is for this to be temporary because every time I have worked full time my mental health disintegrates into a pile of sawdust in the corner I am found rocking in and the reality of owning and running a small business is such that you can kiss your weekends, social life and financial stability goodbye for at least the first five years.
…But I digress, at least nobody can fire me and I won’t have management of an overworked underfunded department breathing down my neck about adherence statistics until I end up an anxious wreck overdosing in the carpark like last time.
This has become a touch ranty, sorry about that, I just had quick reality check mid rambling by way of a phone call from a good friend- she told me she’s just gotten out of hospital after a horrible medical scare caused by a rare condition that ironically the daughter of a random stranger I talked to today also had (weird).
So this has left my friend with a lot of fear, pain and very few answers, not to mention she also runs her own business and is short staffed so has gone back to work. I’ll stop complaining about being a bit tired now.
Anyway, I will leave this here and attempt to write more interesting things next week because I’m going to be childfree in Sydney for 4 days (wahoo!) with Mum while she has her surgery. Uh oh, world war three seems to be breaking out in my kitchen (🙄teenagers!) see you on the flip side!
I’m watching shapes of collective ‘nothingness’ right now, those billions of dots that appear to make up the perceived universe are twisting and forming together again, noticeable enough to swirl seductively through the room as though they are about to physically manifest into something, it’s hard not to let it take my attention.
Glasses off, glasses back on. No change.
It’s sudden obviousness is a little bit annoying. Nowadays, while they are always in the background, they are usually easily ignored and I rarely stop to notice them.
It’s hardly new to me, I think I’ve always seen the world this way. When I was young I was able to see the different hues within the ‘dots’ group together and form what I likened to a colourful shadow around people. When I mentioned this to my mother she became excited saying I was seeing ‘Aura’s’.
I also loved to watch how the movement of the dots changed yet remained ‘dramatically organised’ near loud speakers in response to different music.
People would look at me sideways when growing up I told them I could ‘see’ the particles that make up the atmosphere, I was laughed at by friends, shrugged off by adults and contested by the odd person who would momentarily humour my explanation, “The eye is incapable of seeing at a microscopic level, let alone atomic Kate”. I understood that, yet even when peering down the microscope in my fathers laboratory the dots swirled and fizzed in around and through all matter, solid or space, size unchanged. Perhaps they were part of the visual structure of my eye? Or from the part of the brain that perceives visual cues?
Somewhere along the way I gave up trying to work out what they were, it didn’t really matter, it just seemed odd to me that nobody else I knew could see them. When the digital age came about I likened the phenomenon to the pixels on a Television Screen, tiny dots that made up the world we saw, they were the pixels of the universe.
When I’m manic they can seem explosive, like colourful fireworks exploding around me in several dimensions and I will often start to see them form into hallucinatory creatures or objects the way one sees images in clouds. While they can be annoying or overwhelmingly fascinating, they are never frightening.
I’m not alone here, I googled it and a collective of around a hundred people had replied to someone’s cry of “is this normal?” With screams of “Me too!”
We seem to see it basically the same way, for some it’s colourful, for some it isn’t, we all agree it’s nothing like eye floaters or ‘visual snow’, some have learned to group the colours and manipulate the flow of their movement, many seem hopeful that it could be a pathway to some mysterious psychic skill, telekinesis or even vision into an alternative reality. They don’t seem to be part of a mental illness- although those few of us prone to paranoia do perhaps find it makes it easier to start believing in the whole ‘Matrix reality’ theory…
Old people, young people, all races and religions, glasses, no glasses – we have all seen them for as long as we could remember and were the only people we knew who could. The responses were filled with “Oh my God I am so glad that I’m not the only one!” And that made me smile.
I truly love the power of the internet to bring together those of us with weird and wonderful quirks, it helps us rise above our fears by offering a safe platform to ask “have you ever …?” and discover that we are in fact far from alone. Sometimes that small slice of unity gives us enough supportive courage to begin to celebrate our differences rather than feel like we should be ashamed them.
Has the internet helped you feel less alone?
Do you see the pixels of the universe?
I was an avid reader from a young age, gobbling up works by Jackie French, Enid Blyton, John Marsden and Bryce Courtney like peanut m&ms.
While I read from most genres, I really loved relatable adventures. Descriptive scenes I could picture myself in got my imagination whirling and books based on farms or in the Australian bush were my favourites. Once the stories ended I’d daydream for hours about how I’d react in the situations the characters found themselves in and imagined myself interacting with those characters. Books made anything possible!
Movies were great and all, but a book? Well that gave you imaginative control, the author may have guided your internal imagery by stating a characters hair or eye colour but it was you the reader that had final say in what they looked like. Movies took that magic away from you, not to mention they altered stories- destroying The Power Of One for example!
Nowadays, I love to write as much, if not more, than I love to read. Despite my love of reading, I hated writing as a child; journaling used to send me into a right tizz. I think I got too nervous about what was expected from me and just ended up with short sentences such as: “I went to the park. It was good.”
This was before I discovered it was okay to be imaginative and explain my experience of how I saw the park, that I could focus on the journey of travelling to the park, the sights, smells, feelings of anticipation as you tried to swing all the way around the swing set and even the disappointment of having to go back home again.
I only realised that I enjoyed playing with descriptive text so much as an adult and while most of the words you read on my blog bear witness to the secret thoughts that have spilled from my overcrowded mind in a torrential downpour of snot and sorrow, I quite enjoy writing children’s picture books too!
Something about the challenge of searching for a way to gently instill morality into a child’s mind by guiding them through a path of adventure and triumph over adversity and doing it as succinctly as possible gets me all tingly. Perhaps that’s why as someone who talks (and writes) incessantly, I prefer Twitter over other social media platforms – I need boundaries and the character limit is a brilliant challenge.
As much as I love to write, I can’t write on command, well I can but I find it very difficult, I start to over think, over criticise and don’t produce the same quality of work.
My best writing happens out of the blue and often in the middle of the night. Something random suddenly triggers me, sometimes it even happens while I’m driving, I will get the overpowering ‘urge’ and I have to pull over and immediately write in the notes section of my phone, sentences pour out as though I am being possessed by a spirit. These stories may be mine but in reality I’m just a vehicle for the words that seem to come through me from some sort of external force.
Because my writing guides me, I don’t guide my writing, as much as I love it, I doubt that I could ever be a successful author or journalist, I couldn’t imagine having to meet deadlines and conform with set structures. This is why I love to quietly blog, write little personalised picture books for my nephew and nieces, express myself through poetry and lyrics.
For me, writing is my art, it is a beautiful and powerful release, writing my memoir was the most therapeutic thing I had ever done, it is where I found the key to beginning to understand my authentic self and expressing my emotional ups and downs through my blog is where I discovered an amazing, like minded community to share with.
Are you passionate about writing too? How do you express your authentic self?
I’m tired of all my emotional extremes, they’re slowly breaking me. Even when the bipolar is quiet my ability to turn mountains into molehills on a dime truly astounds me. I seem to subconsciously love to watch myself burn and then writhe around in agony.
Life can be so much more than a million shades of grey and while the bold, bright colours continue to try and bleed their beauty into my soul, for some reason, I can only seem to truly ever feel the world in black or white, all or nothing.
It’s catastrophic ecstasy.
It can be hard for me to form healthy boundaries, hard to care about things just a little, hard to know when to back off. I love passionately, I feel deeply, I rarely hate but I’m well practiced at indifference which some say is worse and I am acutely aware that fear drives many of my decisions. Fear of judgment, fear of disappointing or hurting someone and the underlying fear of being wrong no matter what anyway.
When the emotional sledgehammer comes down I want to pick death over consequence every time. I don’t know if it’s a need to escape pain, feel freedom from responsibilities, an attempt to gain some control by running away before my true nature can be discovered and I am hated by those who I cared for or at this point perhaps it’s simply become a bad habit.
Whatever the root cause, if someone hurts me or worse I hurt someone, capital punishment for my real or imagined crime immediately feels like the only possible solution.
The other day in one of these unjustified fits of internal devastation, I wanted so badly to jump from a 32 story building – all because of a silent argument, no ill words were even spoken, simply a vibe I guess, body language I picked up on, just enough ‘signs’ to form the cracks in my fragile heart that allow that little voice space to squeeze through and spit it’s vile opinions.
“You know he hates you right? Deep down he regrets ever being with you. You are holding him back, he resents you, you have just been guilting him in to staying with you and he certainly deserves better than your ugly fat ass”
I reviewed the half lit sobbing mess looking back at me from the mirror. I am disgusting; I am a worthless, hopeless broken child masquerading in a grown women’s body.
I peer gingerly from the window of my hotel room and look down at the lights of the city and the ground so far below. As I envisage a way out of this painful existence, the voice in my mind takes on an authoritative almost excited tone.
“You’re always going to be like this you know, you can’t just want to die every time he is upset with you, you’re a fucking sook, he can’t live his life walking on eggshells because you are too sensitive. That’s bullshit, that’s emotional blackmail and people like you deserve to die, do everyone a favour…fucking jump bitch!”
It was true, he doesn’t deserve to be stuck with this mess, nobody does.
I glance through the moon lit room back towards the bed at the snoring silhouette of my husband and put my hand on the metal window winder and start turning, quietly, one rotation at a time as not to let the oil starved mechanism wake him. Suddenly it stopped, the windows didn’t open far, certainly not far enough for my ever expanding frame to slip through. Heavy tears rolled down my cheeks and I crumpled to the floor pressing my face into the cold window glass and desperately searching the world below me for an answer to end this tragic woman I had somehow become.
Train station, buses, drunken party goers stumbling around the streets looking to keep the night going. Hell even eating something from that dodgy looking kebab shack, the city was full of potential solutions to my problem but I was stuck 18 floors up in my pyjamas, too exhausted by the weight of living to sneak out of the room to the streets below.
The pressure in my forehead from trying to ugly cry silently was almost as intense as the waterfall of snot streaming from my nose and defeated I fumbled my way back into the bed trying not to wake my husband. As I buried my face into the pillow he rolled over and threw one arm around me “mmm I love you so much” he muttered, still sleeping.
Turned out he wasn’t even angry at all, I’d somehow imagined the whole scenario, concocted yet another series of lies based on what? A funny look, a ‘vibe’? I can’t trust my feelings, it’s as though even when void of an episode of mania or depression I’m constantly being gas lit by a part of my own brain that clearly wants me dead and it’s absolutely exhausting.
Along with the bipolar and food issues when I was in hospital I was once also diagnosed with “Borderline Personality Disorder” by a doctor that frightened me, a doctor I hated. This was a diagnosis I fought hard internally to deny, because – well I can’t give a good reason ‘why’ because when it comes down to it I suppose it was purely related to stigma. I knew very little about BPD, I knew that a lot of people thought people with Borderline were mean, attention seeking, emotional black mailers and the thought of being viewed that way absolutely destroyed me. I also believed there was no treatment, so if he was right, I was a lost cause.
At the time, I had been hospitalised for an episode of bipolar mixed mania inclusive of a suicide attempt and I managed to convince myself that the doctor had only suggested BPD because in my manic delusional state I had gotten really angry about something I no longer remember and yelled at him rather abusivly (which was something I had never done before or since to anybody let alone a doctor).
Since then I have learned a lot more about BPD, it’s a bloody hard thing to live with but it doesn’t mean your ‘personality is flawed’ and there are a lot of overlaps with bipolar (mood stuff, impulsivity, suicidal ideation) and even my ED (which has always been a trigger for self harm), many of the other symptoms of BPD do in fact fit me too, the dissociation issues, extreme sensitivity. My current psychiatrist has known me for 3 years now, she says I don’t meet enough of the criteria to also be diagnosed with BPD although I do have a number of “traits”.
Honestly, I was relieved when she said that, it felt freeing, like the shackles of stigma from a misunderstood ‘disorder’ had been officially released from my bruised wrists and yet unfortunately the symptoms I had long feared were caused by BPD didn’t magically melt away when the diagnosis did.
Mental illness, whatever the label, is the ultimate challenge, a constant fight against an opponent who knows all of your weaknesses, it can hurt so unexpectedly and so badly sometimes, it hurts like burns from fire and ice, but sometimes it opens your mind to endless possibilities, friendships and love.
Black and white, all or nothing, catastrophic ecstasy.
It took 20 minutes to descend from 35,000 ft to the earths surface below me and less than 20 seconds to plummet from the 18th floor of the skyscraper hotel I was staying in, all the way down to the ground.
Both were of course, gentle, controlled landings, but one can’t help but consider the potential outcome if any of the mechanics that can bring you safely and swiftly down to earth should fail.
It’s a bit hard for me to admit given all of my recent ‘progress’, but I’d be lying if I told you that part of me wasn’t looking out across that aeroplane wing as I left the Brisbane sunshine behind me, hoping that this time I wouldn’t make it home, that I wouldn’t have to be strong anymore.
That sadness that sometimes grips me was once again clawing for its freedom from that dark place where it quietly resides, deep within my soul; the same secret sadness I imagine some of you feel from time to time too.
It has been with me again for a while now, not quite taking over but loitering in the background, sometimes pushing forward a little, just to call attention to its everpresence.
It came and held me there in that flying metal tube, reminding me of my fears and nudging at my insecurities while paradoxically comforting me with it’s familiar embrace as we soared together, defying gravity across the mysterious blue evening skies.
As the sun set slowly over heaven and earth I absorbed myself within the breathtaking view, the yellow ball of glowing life melted away into an orange puddle, spreading itself across the horizon until it was quietly swallowed up by darkness, replaced by the twinkling light of distant stars that were seemingly sent to refuel our souls with hope of a new tomorrow and yet gently remind our egos of their true insignificance.
35,000 ft below, the world went about its business, oblivious to those floating high above, as we were oblivious to them. Each person in our little patch of the atmosphere was going about their unique life, we were brought together at this moment by hundreds of different reasons, we were people from different places, people with different experiences, different hair, different skin, of all different ages and different beliefs. But for all of our beautiful differences as I looked around the aircraft, noticed the crying toddlers and sleeping old men, I thought about how we shared so much more than just a common destination, we shared the incredible unique ability to think and question, each of us holding a unique dream and a unique perspective of not only life but this very moment. Together, whether we knew it or not, I realised that in that moment, we all shared the unique experience of person hood, and it was a truly magical feeling.
I took a deep breath and pushed back against the sadness, acknowledging its presence in my heart and letting it know I didn’t need it right now. This was my world, my choices and my perspective and it was beautiful. We descended from our secret little place in the sky back down into the chaotic city of Sydney below, welcomed by bright lights and beeping horns. I surveyed the incredible display of humanity surrounding me and I smiled to myself; this, was life
Struggling with mental health, I was sat on a psych ward and inspired to start my very own blog! So here we are, welcome to life’s in the eyes of lauren where I’ll be tackling difficult topics and sharing my personal experiences, mainly focusing on mental health but also social services, the care system, living away from my biological family, school struggles and just life in general! i am writing to help poeple, if that means ive helped one person, ive achieved my goal. I hope you enjoy reading, Good Vibes Only xoxo
A Journey of discovery and self love.
The blog of an eclectic & eccentric woman
Mental health & day to day life
Sharing my journey of recovery and healing with God's love shining through me and touching you...
Sarah K Reece
Inspiration to lead you back to Soul
Successfully living with Chronic Illness, Bipolar and Familial Mediterranean Fever
living life to the fullest with dissociative identity disorder and other mental illnesses
Sharing self help tips/advice/blogs on how to make your life beautifully positive!
" Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it is better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring" - Marilyn Monroe
Books, papers and blogs by Joanna Moncrieff