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! 🙂

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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.

🙂

13 Reasons Why You Should Stay Alive

In light of the series ’13 Reasons Why’, I thought it’d be an idea to write a list of 13 reasons why you shouldn’t turn to suicide. In the last 365 days, I’ve tried committing suicide 5 times… each time regretting the last. 

I’m not going to sugar coat this blog post in anyway. I’ve been there, tried it multiple times and have come out the otherside. Trust me, it’s dumb. 

Death doesn’t relieve any pain

Once you’re gone, that’s it. Death won and you lost the battle. Your pain ends, but you pass your pain and a lot more onto every person around you. Your parents, siblings, work colleagues, friends and even acquaintances. You’ll leave them with sleepless nights, constant tears, guilty minds wondering what they could have done to stop you from being selfish.

You’ve survived up until now

Youve lived 100% of your life up until this moment, you’ve been alive every single second. You’ve been alive while people are out in space and people are at new depths of the Earth’s oceans. The people who made these things possible are just like you and I. Why don’t you achieve greatness too?

You become a statistic

When ONS publish their statistics on suicide, your name won’t get mentioned. You get shoved into a number of anonymous people who ‘were too weak to face life’. All the time you’re here on this planet, you can get your name spoken and your story heard. You can do anything if you stay here another day.

You will find people who are in a similar situation

I’m talking about you – ECS girls! Going through therapy, especially a group setting can really help you piece together your own mind. I met some mad hatters in my last therapy group, but they’re the best and I know they’re always there for me to talk to if I need to!

You owe it to youself to heal

You should allow yourself the chance to mend, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You may think that the end is nigh because right now is difficult. It won’t stay this way forever.

Everything is temporary

“This, too, shall pass”. 

This quote has many different connotations to religion and human history. Nothing will be the same in an hours time, after all… the darkest hour is only 60 minutes long right? Hang on in there for 60 minutes, I promise you’ll be grateful that you did.

The butterfly effect 

If you’re not familiar with this concept, it means that if a butterfly were to flap it’s wings one side of the world, that it could cause a hurricane over the opposite side – small things factor into larger consequences. So if you were to kill yourself, if a butterfly could cause a hurricane… what would your loss cause? Armageddon?

Desiderata

My dad showed me this poem only last night, but a particular section in it resonates with me so much.

“You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should”.

You were placed into this universe for a reason and you should not take that privilege lightly.

Things can’t get any worse 

You want to kill yourself, this is the worst it can be. Now it’s a steady climb back up, you have to hit rock bottom before you can start again.

Think about it

As my favourite author Matt Haig said in his book ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’; “three in the morning is never the time to sort your life”. It’s also not the right time to think about ending it either. You should be in a blissful sleep, not aware of your surroundings.

Make a crisis plan

This was the best thing I’ve ever done, my psychiatrist has a copy of my crisis plan incase I ever try and do something stupid again. All I need to do is get someone to phone the MHT and they’ll be guided through what I put down would help me when I’m in distress. Crisis plans include what to say to you/not say to you. Who should be around you and who shouldn’t. Things that can calm you quickly, I have a particular song that zones me out in seconds. Trust me, a crisis plan is literally a life saver.

You are the only ‘you’

You’re made up of star dust, you walk the land that prehistoric creatures roamed hundreds of thousands of years ago. You breathe the same air as every animal on this planet. Heck! You share a large amount of DNA with a banana! You’re such a perfect array of atoms. There will never be another you.

I’ll miss you

I may not know you personally, I may not ever cross your path in life. But every day I take a moment out to mourn in some way to all of the people who are no longer around. Whether I know them or not, I feel an overwhelming sense of guilt to know that most of the people who have committed suicide would probably have regretted it if they had failed and survived. From how close I’ve been to death, regret was the only thing that surged through my body. Your soul is too beautiful to destroy.

If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

🙂

One Year On…

I’ve rewritten this post about 4 times in the past week. I’ve got so much to write but cannot find the words to describe exactly what I want to say.

16 months ago I was so low in myself, I put my body through things no one ever should. I was passing myself from man to man just to feel acknowledged and wanted. I wanted to try and convince myself I was loved and happy while abusing myself. 14 months ago I was addicted to taking Ecstasy and Cocaine, I was like a wild animal that had been let out of its cage for the first time. I had no concept on the damage I was causing my body while downing alcohol, creating a lethal concoction that should have killed me. 

Exactly one year ago to this day, my life could have ended. One year ago today, I was determined that my life would stop in its tracks. One year ago, I was put into a Psychiatric Unit for my own safety. I was so angry at the people who helped save my life. I thought of them as being selfish, that they didn’t understand my struggles and how ‘bad’ my life was. I felt such spite towards them for being so evil to make me carry on suffering. I wish that no one becomes as unwell as I was back then, I didn’t even know what the date was for weeks on end. I was signed off work for months because of how erratic my moods had been.

One year on…

I’m now working alongside people who suffer from acute mental health issues and I support them emotionally to make their lives easier. From being an inpatient in a ‘loony bin’ to a mental health support worker working alongside some of the people who helped me out in my time of need really shows just how well someone can recover if given the right help.

Please don’t give up on someone who wants to get better but seems to be stuck in a sink hole… Be there when they need you and stand back when they’re trying to get back on their own two feet. You wouldn’t stop helping a toddler who fell over after taking their first few steps… You’d encourage them to carry on trying. The same principal applies to everyone. 

If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

🙂

BPD and Relationships

I’ve been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder for around a year now, just as I was meeting my last partner. The diagnosis lifted a massive weight off of my shoulders… but also started to bring on more things that I couldn’t deal with.

Borderline Characteristics

The main characteristics of BPD are a mixture of the list below:

  • Impulsive behaviours
  • Over the top reactions to situations
  • Self harm/suicidal thoughts
  • Intense, quick relationships 
  • Abandonment and rejection worries
  • Emotions are black and white
  • Delusions and hallucinations

Impulsive Behaviours

During my most recent relationship, I acted very irrational sometimes. I drunk a lot to the point he and I were arguing tons about it. I was spending money like there was no tomorrow, again causing a ton of arguments. I felt like I needed to be in control of my own actions and whenever someone told me something, I’d shove two fingers up at them and would do the complete opposite.

Over The Top Reactions 

When we were in the midst of an argument about my drinking or spending, I’d go ham and spend more or drink more just out of spite. It would be me subconsciously saying “I can do what I want and you can’t stop me!” I didn’t want to do it, but I felt I needed to prove a point.

Self Harm and Suicidal Thoughts

These were major issues that I struggled with last year. If we were in bed and I had woken up in the middle of the night. I would feel a huge amount of jealously if he was still asleep, I’d start clawing at my skin until it was broken and bleeding. If I couldn’t get my own way I’d be irrational and would start planning out how I could kill myself with objects in the room. I thought about how easy it would be to grab the fish tank hosing and hook it round my neck. I thought about taking a ton of my anti depressants and downing my bottle of rum that I had barely touched.

Intense and Quick Relationships

I was already talking about how many children I wanted, their full names, where I wanted to live, how I wanted to decorate the house, my wedding dress, the place I wanted to get married, the colour scheme etc. Obviously to anyone this would be a huge throw back, my BPD was saying to me “we’ve been together for 4 months, why has he not decided whether or not he wants to marry me? Is there something wrong with me? Does he not love me? How can I make him love me more? What if I’m jilted?”

My brain would go into unnecessary overdrive, I never told him and I’m sure he just thought I was a grumpy shit most of our relationship.

Abandonment and Rejection Issues

This was a huge part of my concerns when it came to our relationship, especially as it was long distance. I always worried that he’d meet someone else while I was away. That he’d stop tracing MY tattoos with his fingers, that he’d stop tucking MY hair behind MY ear. He wouldn’t want ME anymore. So I started to push him away, when all I wanted was for him to be closer than ever.

Emotions are Black and white

I fail to see the shades of grey between emotions, I’m euphoric or hysterical. There’s rarely an in between, recently I’ve become far better at being able to tone down the extremes of my emotions to a somewhat ‘normal’ level.

Delusions and Hallucinations

These aren’t the sort of delusions/hallucinations where I see fire breathing panda birds. They’re disassociation mechanisms for when I can’t handle my own mind. When things get too much, I’ll zone out and I feel like I’m floating above my own body. I zone into certain sounds like the clock ticking and find it incredibly difficult to pull my attention away. Even when I’m not around a ticking clock, I still hear one sometimes… while I’m walking or on the bus. I’m learning to block them out though.

Dating someone who has BPD, is very tough. But we are some of the most loyal, respectful, all in people you can find. I’d go to the ends of the earth for the people I love. I will forever put them first, but when I hate someone, I feel a huge overwhelming rage whenever I hear someone mention their name.

I’ve got that all under control though, so there shouldn’t be any mayhem caused by me in that respect! 

If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

🙂

Facts about Mental Illnesses

After countless Google searches about statistics on young adults with Mental Health Illnesses… and with not a lot of luck with what I was trying to find out. I took it upon myself to conduct my own research into just how many of us have to battle these demons.

In this survey I conducted, there were 59 respondents who ever so kindly took part, so I thank each and everyone of you for taking your time to complete the questionnaire.

As you can see from this first question, the majority of people who answered the questionnaire were female. The reasoning for this could be that males felt less comfortable to share the information. Or it could just be due to the fact that I don’t know many males… Who knows!

q2

In this next question we can see that the main age range of the people who answered the questionnaire were between 21-30 years of age. 56% were to be exact, 35% were younger and 9% were older. This again could be due purely down to the majority of people I know being around this age.

q3

100% of people who answered the questionnaire were inside of the United Kingdom. This may be the response that it is due to the narrowed sharing of the questionnaire to just my personal profile on Facebook, which contains mainly people from within the UK.

q4

This is where the statistics start to become more interesting… 90% of the people who participated in the survey suffer from a mental illness of some sort. if we times that by 10, that’s 90% of my friends list on Facebook suffering from something. It’s rather sad to think about.

q5

47% of people were diagnosed with a mental illness within the last 5 years. Now, again… This could be due to the fact of the age of the majority of people who answered these questions.

q6

67% felt that they could talk to someone about their troubles, however… 26% felt like they could not. I wonder if this is due to the stigma of feeling weak if they ask for help.

q7

Now approximately 73% of the people who answered suffer from a form of anxiety, while not far behind is 65% of people suffering from depression. These are two of the most common forms of mental illness… Yet there are still so many people struggling to find help… This needs to change. Other answers I got that I didn’t mention in the answers were OCD, Major Depressive Disorder and Body Dysmorphia.

q8

And again, a saddening statistic, 98% of people know someone who is suffering from am Mental Illness right now.

As an employee of the NHS and a current sufferer of Mental Illnesses, I feel that we need far more funding to support the people who so desperately need help. Currently only 15% of the people who suffer from Mental Illnesses are getting the help they need. What about the others? The people who can’t speak up due to fear, judgement and prejudice.

The NHS needs more like-minded people to get their services running at the best of their abilities. Please, if you have the chance to jump at a job in the NHS and more specifically Mental Health… Please take it, we need all the help we can get in such an under budgeted sector.

If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

🙂