Products of Our Environment

So as the title states – I’m gonna be sharing my own story about my younger life and growing up with a history of mental illness in my family.

Now, I’m not sure whether it’s purely coincidental, whether it’s hereditary or whether being in an environment where mental illness was prevalent was a norm for me as a child and perhaps made me more susceptible to becoming mentally unwell.

Does mental illness flow through my veins, beat in my heart and thrive off my healthy mind?

A woman very dear to me has struggled with inner demons for as long as I can remember. I was about 9 when I first began to notice that something wasn’t quite right. She’d spend days in bed, she wouldn’t eat, she wouldn’t even wash. With hind sight and personal experience I can now see that she was in an incredibly deep rooted depression.

It didn’t last days, or weeks… it lasted years.

I began to notice these traits in myself a number of years ago which was a very scary thing for me. I didn’t want to have a halted life because my mind would throw a fit every once in a while.

I decided to push on through, to finish studying Forensic Science, to get an unconditional offer at the university I wanted to study at – although I dropped out! I’ve worked in the Mental Health field and am now heading into working for the Ministry of Justice.

It’s ok to be abnormal, I wouldn’t have thrived as much if I was never unwell or had never battled with addiction.

If I could meet my 9 year old self, I would tell her that she would be okay. That her mum would win the uphill struggle. I’m now 21 and have almost set myself up for life.

This is the year everything changes!

If Kiwi can cope, so can you!

🙂

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Master of Deception

I’m not gonna bore you with all of the stuff most bloggers will be posting currently… the whole ‘new year, new me’ bullshit. You’re still the same idiot you were a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. You aren’t foolin’ me honey bee!

I want to write an uplifting post for the first time in around half a year – that makes me sound like I’m still a depressive mong doped-up on all kinds of meds from the doctor. “Here’s 5 Cyanide pills just incase one isn’t enough to put your stupid ass to sleep for the rest of eternity” – thanks doc!

In all seriousness though… I’ve really grown the fuck up since last year and even the year before that. I was selfish, manipulative and arrogant… basically a massive arsehole! But a switch flicked inside me and I realised I was a raging douche that needed to sort herself out. During the previous couple of years, I felt sub-human, I felt like I deserved no one’s love or compassion except the black dog that was always barking in my head. 

I found solace in the havoc. The sense of self I was adamant was true, was just a facade, to cover my deluded mind set. 

I was a master of deception.

I had grown so used to putting on an external mask, I convinced myself I was better when really I was just trying to polish a turd. Things were mounting up to the point that it was almost unbearable. I could see the surface of the ocean but had an anchor tied to my ankles.

Last year was a true test of my character. I did many things I never thought I’d have the courage to do.

I rid myself of toxic people, negativity breeds negativity. I worked in a mental health unit as an Auxiliary nurse. I applied and successfully got a job which will set my career path up. I travelled through Europe and visited Auschwitz, the Berlin wall and the Red Light District! And after everything… I forgave my rapist and got the closure I needed to be able to move on.

This year will be full of light, love and positivity!

Trust me, if Kiwi can cope… so can you! 🙂

💚💚💚

Dealing with my BPD

I’ve posted a few times about myself being a borderline sufferer and how it’s impacted on me. After reading through the posts, they all had a very negative outlook on what it’s like to have this illness.

I always wrote about the situations I noticed my BPD worsening in and my reactions – but never how I got over the hurdles it made me face.

Being a borderline isn’t glamorous or fun, to put it bluntly – it’s fucking shit! My borderline still lingers around every day but the way I’ve learnt to cope and work alongside it has changed and I’m now at a place where I can say I can keep it in check.

My BPD is mainly to do with abandonment issues and relationships that fizzle out super quick because I’m just so goddamn bored! Sometimes when my anxiety is bad I start to become delusional. I think the most ludicrous things are real and that life is just a joke.

I remember when it first got really bad, I had watched a documentary about the phone hacking scandal that happened a few years back. I got it into my head that I was being spied on constantly, that people were hacking into my phone, reading my messages and listening to my calls. Although why I thought that the government would be interested in knowing that I wanted my Mumma to pick me up a McDonald’s en route back from shopping – I’ll never know!

I’m glad I can laugh about it now because back then, I was petrified to talk to people. I felt like I had no privacy and it made me feel even more vulnerable.

There is no quick fix when it comes to dealing with BPD. There’s also no set treatment that can make it better for everyone. 

Just nurture yourself and love yourself, BPD feasts on your inner vulnerabilities. The second you start doubting your mind and recovery, it will consume you.

Keep your life free of as much drama as you can. Don’t put unnecessary tension on yourself that could hinder your recovery. 

BPD will always be there, but you don’t have to run away from it forever. Put up two fighting fists and show it what you’re made of!

If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

🙂

Forgiving my rapist

Okay so this is going to be blurted out how I’m thinking it. Today has been the most difficult and incredible day of my entire life so far. For the last few weeks my depression has hit absolute rock bottom, the worst it has been since I was diagnosed 4 years ago.

I never thought about seeking revenge from the person who sexually assaulted me because I was too caught up in my own self blame. I was too busy hurting myself or thinking I had done something wrong.

He seemed far more repairable than how I was left after the situation. No amount of hatred I had or loathing for vengeance would heal my mental scars.

I never once thought I would do what I did today, I never experienced any anger towards this man. Only sympathy, emptiness and guilt. The whole “wrong place, wrong time” saying.

My mind has been replaying these raw emotions in the back of my mind for a few weeks and it really hit the surface only a few days ago. I’d suppressed the memories so much due to how much trauma it caused me at such a young age. I have been barely a shadow of the person I was half a year ago. I’ve not recognised myself recently. 

I decided that the only way I would heal the wounds from what happened was forgiveness.

Today, I forgave my rapist.

I made him aware of the demons I have faced at the hands of what had happened. That my life spiralled out of control after December 24th 2011 at around 10:45pm.

I wanted acknowledgement for what had happened to me so I didn’t feel like I was another rape victim swept under the carpet. I got the apology I so truly deserved.

To many people, an apology would never even begin to heal the amount of suicide attempts, the self injury and the self hatred I had for over half a decade. But to me; it’s enough to move on.

To know I am a strong woman who has dealt with a traumatic experience, speaks reams about how far I have come in this time.

Forgiveness is not going to be everyone’s way to get closure. But it’s finally going to help me heal.

If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

A second chance at life

To all of my readers – I’m sorry I’ve not posted anything in the last two months or so… I’ve not known what to write about!

This post is dedicated to it being one year on since my last suicide attempt and what’s changed in my life to know that I won’t ever attempt it again.

As many of you know, I was off my head on illegal drugs, I had a massive drinking problem and I couldn’t settle comfortably with anyone. I was a ticking time bomb for at least half of last year. 

Now, I’m barely drinking, I haven’t touched drugs in well over a year and I’m quite content with how everything is going for me right now!

So I bet you’re wondering what changed my entire life outlook and why I don’t get caught up in those situations anymore?

First off, group therapy sessions – months and months of it. I’d been through specific counselling with PARCS (Portsmouth Area Rape Crisis Service) with an amazing woman named Polly back in 2013. Now at the time, I didn’t have high hopes for counselling – assuming that talking about all the problems I had faced would just ingrain them into me more. To say I didn’t go in with the will to get better would be pretty accurate… but she wore down the walls I had built and made me experience raw feelings that I hadn’t felt since the few weeks after the sexual assault. I was angry, in denial, confused, frustrated, self blaming and I truly hated myself for “letting it happen to me”. But re-experiencing these raw emotions again helped me start to come to terms with what had happened so I could slowly leave it in my past. 

The group therapy sessions helped me deal with the remaining emotional issues that I’d been left with after what happened. I learnt to nip a situation in the bud before it turned explosive, or before I would react inappropriately. Group sessions aren’t for everyone, but being in a room with people who understood what it was like to react irrationally to certain things made me feel slightly more human.

Another hugeeee influencing factor has been my reduction in alcohol consumption. Over the past 7 months, I’ve been out maybe 10 times. Now, comparing that to 2-3 times a week last year  is quite unbelievable. It’s not just how often which I had reduced, but it’s also what I drink and how much of it I drink. I cannot drink rum because I get very angry and hostile while drinking it – so simple, I stay away from it.

The final thing was probably the hardest, but it was spending less time around people I deemed unhealthy towards my recovery. To the point where I’ve rid them out of my life completely. Frequent drug users and people who drink tons, the temptation used to be irresistible. So I removed myself out of situations which could cause my relapse into old habits. This was horrendous at the time, because they were the only people I really spent time with so I felt completely isolated when they were out of the picture. I just kept telling myself that I’d rather be alive and lonely than dead.

I want to focus on my dreams, I want to travel the world. I want to see my niece grow up and flourish. I want to be able to marry someone, I want to have children and own 4 French Bulldogs. I want to live a happy life.

The key to recovery is to want it, not because of your parents, friends or family wanting you to. But because you want to be alive another day, you want to be the one to say “I made it because I wanted to”.

If Kiwi can cope, so can you! 🙂

Disconsolation

These helpless scars that haunt my flesh, remind me of thin-skinned days.

When words and thoughts cut far deeper than any blade. 

Each cut, each scratch, each bite mark, leaving it’s own vicious story behind. 

Fathoming the disarray isn’t so easy right now, with a hurricane causing havoc in my mind.

Dysphoria screams down the empty, corrupt pathways of my brain. 

My eyes have glazed over, I’m forever mistaken for a china doll. Skin so delicate, so porcelain.

My skin is like a tiger’s, bold and bright.

Each cut, each scratch, each bite mark, showing that I fought the fight. 

So let me show you this, listen to me roar.

I fell victim to my mind once, but not anymore. 

Scars come and go like trains to a station.

But at somepoint they stop, so please be patient.

The past won’t ever change, so why wistfully wish.

You could be a newly growing wild flower that does nothing but flourish.


If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

🙂

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

After being awake all night watching stupid videos on YouTube and crying with laughter at memes on my news feed, I thought I’d go through my old photos and see if there were any hidden treasures I hadn’t seen in a while… (I usually find drunken photos of my friend’s boobs on my phone – standard)!

I got back to November (this is about 1,700 photos into my camera reel) and came across a photo I had never seen before. I remember it being taken, I also remember the guilt that consumed me right after.

You’re probably thinking it’s a bad photo with bad connotations. Surprisingly though, it isn’t. It’s of two people stood next to each other smiling. To most people, the photo wouldn’t bring up any immediate negative feelings… but the second I saw it I had what felt like a tidal wave of culpability crash into me. 

Over the last 3 years, I have tried to commit suicide off of the ‘Faithful Servant’ about 4 or 5 times. I’ve had about 10 people all together chip in to save my life each time. Including the man I only know as the ‘ferry guy’. 

I wish I knew his name so I could write him a letter thanking him for all the times he’s hauled me back from the edge of the boat kicking and screaming. For talking to me when I was in the depths of darkness. For assuring I have someone with me on the ferry whenever I were to get on it.

But above all.

For stopping me one night and saying to me “How are you doing? You look so much healthier and happier now… it’s nice to see”.

A man who didn’t even want a thankyou for the stuff he helped me through. He may see it as just a small thing, but his words have stuck with me for almost a year now.

It’s been almost a year since my last ever attempt at suicide. It was the first time I realised that life isn’t worth giving up on. That I deserve to be here, that no thoughts will ever detract from my true worth.

I need to let this man know how incredible he is and how much I appreciate what he said and did for me when he didn’t have to.


Never underestimate the kindness of strangers because one day, one might save your life.

If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

🙂