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! 🙂

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.

🙂

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.

🙂

The Borderline Blues

It’s what I call the state of mind I’m in right now – not sad, yet not happy. I’m somewhere in the middle of the two and it’s a world away from what I’m used to feeling. It feels alien to me to be feeling both of these feelings at once. I have a massive euphoria in my head yet my body feels sluggish and heavy as if I’m a creaky boat with a cast anchor.

I feel completely at peace, yet I feel so disgruntled. I’m over thinking so much right now yet my rational mind is telling me there’s nothing to be over thinking about. I want to push everyone I know away, yet I want them to be closer to me than ever before. I try and focus on listening to Bukowski by Mooseblood (my favourite song), yet all I can focus on is the mind numbing humming of my fish tank filter and the crank of the cogs in my clock. 

My mind is in one place and yet it seems like it is all over the shop. I can’t keep my attention focused on one thing for even a few minutes without becoming restless and wanting to do something else. My mind is whirring like a racing car motor, it’s spinning in the same repetitive circle.

I don’t feel negativity towards myself or others currently, I just haven’t been used to feeling emotions properly for almost 18 months. I’ve been immune to them in a sense due to the meds I take. 

I’ve only lowered the dosage by 10mg every other day (40mg one night, 30mg the next, 40mg again the night after etc). But I’m still noticing a massive difference in the fact that I can feel things again. For the first month or so, my mood will generally be lower than it has been due to the reduction of robot inducing pills.

I’m trying to make sense of all of these emotions bombarding my vulnerable mind right now. Please bear with me, it’s all I ask.

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.

🙂

Living With BPD

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a personality disorder, symptoms of this can be extreme emotional reactions that seem inappropriate, fear of abandonment, unstable relationships, impulsive behaviour patterns and self destructive behaviours. This affects approximately 1-2% of the population in the UK. 

I’ve been diagnosed with BPD for just over a year now, to start with I just assumed that my personality had changed because I was growing older. To a certain extent… it’s true – you do change over time. 

I’ve never been able to hold down a relationship with anyone. I still don’t understand how to commit to someone fully. The idea of commitment scares the living daylights out of me, I don’t understand why people want to make themselves so vulnerable by opening up to someone and trusting them with everything. I have still never been able to fully open up about everything to anyone – I’m so scared just incase that day does come around. 

I get stressed and angry very easily over the smallest things. If I can’t find a matching pair of socks I burst into tears, if I can’t go to the toilet because someone’s in it I get really angry and start pinching at my arms in frustration. If I can’t be in control of a situation I lose my mind. I’ve been called a control-freak many times before, I guess it’s true to a certain extent. When my BPD gets bad, it’s my way or no way and I’ll be the most stubborn bitch on this planet!

I feel like I’m incapable of loving someone, I lack empathy and thought in what I say or do. I prioritise things completely wrong. I’m sat here currently in almost £2000 worth of debt due to how impulsive I am with money. I have two debt collection companies on my back. Making my stress levels even higher, making me want to spend more money to cheer myself up. Meaning that I stay stuck in this rut.

I’ve got myself caught up in a stupid downward spiral, I never look to the future… I only live in the here and now which has had a negative impact on my life. 

I was sleeping around at the beginning of the year, I was taking drugs and was drinking constantly. I wondered why I felt shit back then. I wonder why!

I think the worst part of BPD though is thinking you won’t ever be loved. I feel so isolated and lonely at times, I can’t get out of bed to get food. I just sleep the days away. The thought of never meeting someone who will take the time out to support me through whatever shit my mind throws at me is hard to accept.

I don’t feel like I’m cut out to be loved by someone because the second I am cared for. I become scared, I get too worried about all of the negativity that it drives me away from things that could make me happy.

I am completely a free spirit and never want that to be compromised. I can’t be with someone who tells me what to do, where to go, what to wear, who I can spend my time with.

The only love I need right now is self love, it’s the only thing that keeps me going. 

If Kiwi can cope, so can you. 

🙂