This won’t be a particularly compelling post, but I just need to get some bits down.
This time last week I was in the middle of a mental breakdown. I wasn’t manic or psychotic, I was just so unbelievably fucking sad that it was unbearable. I hadn’t slept for 48 hours, and sleep (or lack thereof) really affects my mood. I had been up all of the previous night hallucinating, seeing all sorts of things – it made me upset and tired and I wanted to see my dad because I was scared and restless, so I went to meet him for some drinks.
Later that afternoon, a group of individuals who have been tormenting me for several months finally took it “too far.” I remember thinking, “Wow is this what it feels like for the poor kids who get bullied at school? Jesus, this is horrible, I have never been ganged up on like this before, I have never ever had so many people attacking me…” I was devastated at the way these people had treated me – I even believed some of them to be good friends of mine, but alas it has been proved otherwise.
Their actions damaged me in ways that I don’t think they expected. I collapsed in the street, out of shock, and when I came-to I was having a really nasty panic attack and couldn’t breathe. I had also cut my cheek open as I landed on my face when I passed out. The ambulance came, the paramedics wanted to take me to the inpatient unit at the mental health centre miles away – I refused and ran away. I went “home” and slit my wrists, I cut my arms up and shredded my legs (something which I have never done before, I only usually cut my arms). Then I did not sleep for 5 days. I was too scared to leave the house for 5 days. I tried and tried to get help but nobody answered the phones, nobody responded to my messages. I must admit though, my parents have actually been brilliant with this whole thing, and I am so grateful. But here I am, a week later, still alive and feeling a lot better.
But I’ve had a lot of time to think. And this is what I’ve realised:
I don’t want this life anymore. Something has to change.
I cannot worship alcohol anymore. I need to be brave and address my unhealthy attitudes towards drinking and drug-taking. My relationship with alcohol has got to change.
Above is the table in my brother’s room where I keep some things – look how many references to drinking there are, fucking hell, surely my whole life does not revolve around this poison?
More “rules” that I have come up with (notebook scribbles):
- Think before you speak – stop talking like you’re a fishmonger’s wife in Billingsgate, or the missing Kray triplet, and stop speaking in Cockney rhyming slang and calling everyone a cunt. If you are in possession of a top-secret piece of information, DO NOT TELL IT TO ANYONE, even if they’re involved. If you hear gossip or rumours, do not play a part in spreading them any further. Watch your mouth, especially when drunk – you may not remember the nonsense you were spouting last night but other people do. You may mean things in jest but you will be misinterpreted, and you will get in trouble. Overall, keep your mouth shut unless you have something polite/interesting/clever/supportive to say.
- Embrace natural beauty. Just because she’s had her lips done, doesn’t mean that you have to.
- Get back to enjoying green spaces. London has so many parks and forests and fields, but you’re too scared to enjoy them like you used to because your anxiety and paranoia has gotten so bad. BE BRAVE: you will probably not get hustled, mugged, kidnapped, raped, or murdered.
- Sort your budget out, silly! If you keep spunking money on other people, you will never save enough to achieve what you really want – financial planning needs to be done.
- Find out about DBT/CBT/whateverT, mindfulness and yoga classes available on the NHS (or get PCT to fund it).
- Stop being angry. This is not your fault. This is not God’s fault. This is not your parents’ fault. This is nobody’s fault. Stop being angry, you look so ugly when you’re angry. Learn to let go of all this built-up negativity – channel the anger and negativity into being productive and creative.
- Don’t waste a single one of your numbered days. Achieve at least one thing every day, even if it’s tiny.
Be patient with yourself, and be patient with others. Nobody understands your illnesses or your behaviours: your mental health team don’t understand, your family doesn’t understand, your friends don’t understand, strangers don’t understand, YOU don’t understand. So, be patient. Ride the wave, and it will settle. The sea will be calm eventually – tidal waves always die. Do not get angry at yourself and those who fail to provide the help that you need. Just be patient – everything will fall into place.
When I saw my daddy today, he gave me this postcard. He said that someone gave it to him at the bus stop, but that he thinks that I need it more than he does. It says Walk in the light… and I believe that the smudged photo is of shoppers on Carnaby Street in the rain. I turned it over and it’s a card from the London International Christian Church. My father is an atheist. He has been reading the book about Borderline Personality Disorder that I gave him – I think he’s beginning to understand me a lot more, which is just amazing. But I think it’s also sad that he’s realising how messed up I really am, and now suggesting that I turn to religion to “be saved” as if it’s some last resort that I can’t knock ’til I’ve tried it. I know I must try anything and everything that might improve my life and tame my conditions.
But, as I realised this week while hiding indoors wallowing in my own misery and paranoia:
Nobody can save me but myself.