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!

πŸ™‚

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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! πŸ™‚

πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’š

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.

πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚

Fall In Love With Life Again

I never thought I would be sat here preaching this, I could only ever dream of the day. But lo and behold, here I am. Saying the things I never thought I’d be saying.

I am happy once again, not a false happiness that I used to put on. Forcing smiles when I was crumbling inside. 

This happiness I am feeling currently, I haven’t felt since my early childhood. It’s the kind of happiness that’s peaceful, I have no dread or self hatred looming over me anymore. I don’t feel as desolate as I once did. I can get through things nowadays. 

I used to try to avoid situations that would trigger my anxieties and debilitate me. I use to have a massive phobia of causing bad luck. If I broke a mirror I would cry, if I walked across 3 drains I would have a horrendous panic attack. I couldn’t sit on public transport without crying and I could never walk under scaffolding. I purposefully make sure that I do all of the things against my anxieties. I always ask myself “what’s the worst thing that could happen?”.

I am a much stronger person than I give myself credit for. I have finally started to come out the otherside of the dark tunnel that is depression. I am a strong human being.

The key to my recovery has been communication and patience. Having my family by my side through every trauma has been a blessing. When I tried doing things to myself, I never realised how much I was impacting on them. My violent outbursts, not respecting my own body, trying endless times to end my life. I was being selfish, people try and say that suicide and selfharm are not selfish.

Yes, it is selfish.

Ending your life has so many more implications than just you not breathing anymore. Your family will have to live out the rest of their days feeling guilty, asking themselves what they could have done to stop you. They’ll blame themselves until the end. The friends you would leave behind, they’re just an extension of family. 

Super clichΓ© but time is the best healer. I for one, never believed it. I’m one of the most stubborn tossers you will ever meet. So if I’m saying it’s true, then it must be. Granted, I can’t give a time frame, but for all the time you’ve got hope to get better.

You will.

If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

πŸ™‚