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.

🙂

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.

🙂

Going Out When You’ve Been Signed Off Work

This is a major taboo that a lot of people think is a bad idea. “What if a work colleague of mine sees me out while I’m signed off? Will they think I’ve made it all up? Maybe they’ll tell everyone at work how I look ‘okay’…”

These are things I’ve struggled to answer in my head when I’ve been signed off due to my Mental Illnesses screwing me up in the work environment. 

The thing that everyone needs to remember when being signed off due to stress/anxiety/depression etc… is that staying cooped up inside constantly for two weeks is going to only cause havoc in your mind. It’ll make whatever you’re experiencing ten times worse. Obviously, don’t go out and get drunk… that’s a call for disaster if you’re unwell and signed off – people have lost their jobs over that.

But do try and get fresh air each day, yesterday I went to the beach with my niece and mum to calm my head down… but I was so worried that a colleague of mine would see me out and think I was in tip top condition. Today I’m heading out with a friend to do a spot of shopping… do things that calm you and make you a lot more level for when the time of going back to work approaches. 

Ignoring signs of work-related stress can be detrimental as I found out last week… for days I would shut myself in the toilet and cry constantly for no obvious reasons other than I was so stressed out. I started to become irritable – it didn’t help that my anti-depressants had been lowered either.

Even though I work in Mental Health… I was still worried of the prejudice I’d receive for starting to deteriorate at work. I was worried that I’d lose my job, I was worried what everyone would think… this meant I didn’t speak to anyone sooner. If I had, I could have nipped things in the bud quicker… My work have been so understanding and have taken everything completely seriously. I’m truly blessed to have the job I do.

If you’re struggling in work, I urge you to speak to someone! Leaving it can drive you to stupid lengths to get out of the situation.

If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

🙂

Young, Dumb and Full of Cum

So today is the day we all look back over the last year and sift through the great memories we’ve made and also all of the utter bollocks that we’ve been through.

As a soon to be 21-year-old, I can’t help but notice that many people my age are wanting to grow up too fast. They’re rushing through the months as if they have nothing better to do. They don’t seem to be taking time out right now to appreciate what they have around them.

Everyone wants it to be next year so they can do the things they want, but I have a question for all of those people… why wish today away when you could be doing that thing right now?

I’ve witnessed so many young adults, including myself, go through one heck of a year. A ton of my friends have either got engaged or are pregnant/have had children. Others have had their hearts ripped out and have spiralled out of control like I did.

Young people are so hard on themselves nowadays, they feel so pressured to be things that not everyone’s cut out to be. Fuck being a beauty guru, shove your diet out the window and just be happy!

Being young isn’t about being serious, it’s about having fun. Some people’s idea of fun is having a family, good on you! For many of us, it’s about letting our hair down and finally growing into ourselves.

From the beginning of the year up until now, I’ve changed a lot. At the beginning of the year I felt like I always needed someone to rely on and that I wouldn’t be happy by myself. It took my last relationship to realise that I was more than capable of being a happy single young woman.

The days of meaningless one night flings are gone, the drug taking has been knocked on the head and I’ve finally settled into being a much more confident me.

My New Years resolution is not to quit smoking, to stop eating certain foods or to keep fit. My resolution is just for me to stay happy, to stay at peace with myself like I have been recently. The spark that I thought I’d lost has completely returned.

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. 

🙂