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.

🙂

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.

🙂

Anxiety and I

The anxious mind is a vulnerable one, anxiety means manipulation and coercion are far easier to commit against people. Both the sufferer of anxiety and those who are around them feel the full force of just how difficult this illness is.

Anxiety causes huge stress over things that many people find simple. Having a conversation with someone over the phone, eating out in public or traveling on transport. Many things become arduous and make life feel like a living hell every waking moment. 

Anxiety is my alter ego… one moment I can be fine in a room full of people, the next my breathing is erratic as I frantically try and find the closest exit.

Here are some situations I have been in where I’ve been okay to start with and my anxiety has kicked in and made tasks a pain in the bloody arse!

Walking over 3 drains

Rational mind – “It’s only part of the ground, nothing will happen if I don’t walk over them”.

Anxious mind – “What happens if you get hit by a car on your way home, or if someone attacks you? It will be your fault for not walking over the drains… turn back around and walk over them. You NEED to turn around and walk over them, something bad is DEFINITELY going to happen if you don’t… WALK OVER THEM“.

This becomes really quite embarrassing when I’m having a mini argument with myself, especially in a public place.

When people say ” just ignore your anxiety”

Rational mind – “They’re right, I just have to not focus on the anxiety and it will go away”.

Anxious mind – “HEY! Hope you didn’t forget about me, I’m going to make this walk to the shops the worst experience of your life. Someone’s following you, make sure you look over your shoulder every 4 steps you take, tap your fingers together in a sequence of 4’s each time you take a step. Don’t mess it up though! Or you’ll have to start ALL OVER AGAIN! 1, 2, 3, 4… 1, 2, 3, 4… You just walked past a black cat… Make sure you do this all twice as quick or something bad is going to happen”.

The more you focus on not thinking about anxiety the more prominent and worse it becomes.

Public transport

Rational mind – “I’m just going to pop to x’s house for a coffee and a catch up, it’ll be a lovely surprise”.

Anxious mind – “Look at all these people talking, they’re obviously talking about you. Look! That woman’s laughing, I told you and now she’s laughing at you! There’s no empty seats so you have to stand! Everyone’s judging how fat you are, look at your fat legs… No wonder everyone’s looking… you look like something out of a freakshow”.
Anxiety is like having a bully taunting and ridiculing you 24/7, there’s no shutting yourself away from this bully though. 

Anxiety is a hard illness to deal with, especially when it stops people from being able to do normal daily tasks. If you know someone who suffers from anxiety… please, let them take their time to leave the house… hold their hand in the lift while they’re scrunching their eyes shut… Let them check, double check and triple check the front door is locked before going out. Be there for them like you would be there for someone with a visible disability.

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.

🙂