Friday, 24 February 2012

I need to feel...


Since my last blog, I have been trying to feel. Pleasure, pain, happiness, sadness, emptiness, hungry, full... none of it is working.

I don't like this, it makes me very edgy! 

I don't think I've ever been so devoid of anything.

I can get by faking it for those who matter to me but it's not something I want to do. I want to be able to feel something.

I don't know if it's the meds that I'm taking that are doing this to me or if I am slowly heading for a breakdown again. I jut feel so lost.

It's so horrid when you lose someone who was such an integral part of your life. Especially when you thought you meant something to them too and they just cut you off with no explanation whatsoever.

I'm still rambly and not making much sense. Not just in my blog but in general too! 

I went out with a friend last Friday and I had only had 2 drinks and I was slurring like crazy it was so horrid!! I think he thought I was drunk and he found it amusing. I was so embarrassed!! 

I know what my drink limits are and I know how much alcohol it takes to affect me! Even now, as I am typing, I can hear what I'm typing in my head and the 'voice' is slurring!

Another issue I'm suffering with a lot more than usual is number transposition. I have always suffered with this to some extent but it seems to be increasing! Also, mistyping words!

I imagine some of this can be boiled down to my lack of sleep recently! I've always had sleep issues but it's getting much worse! I'm almost afraid to go to sleep because of the dreams I've been having! 

I think I need a holiday! A complete break away from everything! I know it's silly but I miss my ex so damned much and knowing he doesn't care doodly squat makes it so much worse! Even if I can get away from here for a bit I can't ever get away from him, everything I do has undertones of him to it. Everything I am and everything I will become can be justified by something that he has done for me and it's so DAMNED unfair!

I need to find the old me and bring her back... trouble is, I don't know who she is any more! 

I cut myself again this week. I had managed to hold out for such a long time but this whole lack of feeling has been driving me crazy! I needed to feel something and when I cut... nothing!  No pain, no release, not even the shame of relapsing! 

I have this feeling like I just want to climb out of myself and into someone else... that's weird right?! 

I had been going along with the idea of checking myself into a psych ward just for some respite if nothing else but I have since changed my mind. I think it may be good for me at some point but I just want to get through uni and do better than I did last semester! I have a docs appointment next week so I will talk to her about how much of a mess I am becoming and hopefully she can fix me right up... (even whilst I'm typing this I know no such thing will happen but a girl can dream!)

Well... I know this blog won't be making much sense so I'll end here and since I can't do it...

Keep Smiling :(: 

Thursday, 16 February 2012

All Change Please...

Blog starts here

So, I've been on the medication for a while now and until this past week I had not noticed any real changes.

Since my last blog, however, there have been numerous changes and I don't like any of them!

First off, I have been having extremely vivid dreams! Now usually when I dream, either it's blurred nothingness or not (apparently) interesting enough to remember. These dreams are TOTALLY different!!  I wake up and I can still smell the smells from the dream, my heart will be racing, my body clammy, I will still be able to hear the distant sounds around me and I feel like I have not slept a wink!

Now, I have always suffered some sort of sleep issues from as far back as I care to remember, however, I have never experienced anything like this!  

Most of the dreams have been gory in their nature and somewhat disturbing! Given this situation, it goes without saying, I haven't been sleeping particularly well!

My next problem is tremors! Again, this is something I seem to remember always having. Sometimes it's hardly noticeable but on Monday I was in the cafeteria at Uni with some friends and I went to pick up my tea and I split it because I was tremoring so much. I shrugged it off with some nervous laughter and called myself clumsy! I had initially thought the more severe tremors were due to exam nerves and that they would go away. That doesn't seem the case! 

Restlessness comes next! I can't sit still for 5 minutes! I am constantly pacing or twitching or twiddling my thumbs... anything to stop 'the inevitable' from happening. Again, I figured this was down to exam stress and anxiety.

Anxiety is my next problem. I have started to feel really edgy around people. Even those I actually like and, as far as I can tell, actually like me back! I have also had the feeling of someone following me. I have heard footsteps behind me or seen a shadow looking too close for comfort but whenever I turn around, there's no one there!

This leads neatly into my next issue. Voices! Often when I hear footsteps behind me, I hear a voice too. It whispers in my ear. It's really creepy!

I've also been suffering with uni. I am finding it hard to pay attention, I am not feeling motivated and I can't sit still for too long. I am also having trouble writing/typing things. I write numbers in the wrong order, I mis-spell words and I write things that don't make sense!

Finally, I have been having an overpowering urge to cut myself. It's so bizarre. Those of you who read my self harm blog will know that my cutting has been an unconscious act for a very long time now and I only realise I've done it afterwards. So far, I have managed to resist cutting. I allow my cat to bite/scratch me, I have been digging my newly grown nails into my palms and I have been 'chicken scratching' my hand (which I did not realise I was doing until a friend asked if I was ok!). I often get what I believe to be stress rashes and so I scratch unconsciously but this actually left a painful blister type thing!

I don't know if this is all down to the medication or if my mind is simply in overdrive. All I know is I don't like it!!

I guess I will have to have a word with the doctor and see what she says!

I recently read  this article on Yahoo! and I have to say I am horrified!

More stigma to be attached with mental illness! Just what we need! Oh yeah, and other people 'jumping on the band wagon' so they can "have" a mental illness!

Surely this can not be allowed? It is going to create a whole heap of problems and it is also narrowing the gap between 'nomal' and 'abnormal'.

It is perfectly natural, and evolutionarily necessary to fear things, even irrationally! Just look at giant turtles. They fear nothing and they are very slow and live for hundreds of years. They became so slow because they have no predators where they are and have no reason to get away fast!

The DSM 5 is due out next year which will no doubt make diagnoses harder, treatment harder and ultimately make life harder!

Today I made an appointment with the Student Wellbeing team at Uni... wish me luck!! 

I apologise if this blog is particularly rambly or doesn't make much sense!

Keep Smiling :): 

Monday, 6 February 2012

Lost in the system

Blog starts here

I haven't been in the habit of blogging daily most recently. However, I read a news story today that troubled me.

A young gentleman was found dead recently who had apparently been suffering depression for 10 years. Kevin Boyle had told his friends and family about his problems which resulted in him being sectioned and subjected to brutal treatment.

Kevin Boyle is said to be a talented chef who starred alongside TV chef Jamie Oliver.

click here to be taken to Kevin's site

This sort of thing troubles me.

There is so much stigma attached to mental illness and in dealing with my own experiences, I hadn't really taken the time to consider how widely the stigma varies. I watch people recoil when I tell them I suffer with depression. I don't exactly offer it as part of a normal conversation but being a student of psychology, the topic of mental health is often openly discussed.  I hadn't really considered that there was more of a stigma that went along with a male being affected with such issues.

I am aware through research that women are more than twice likely as men to suffer with depression. I also know that women are more predisposed to such illnesses. I never once considered how differently something like depression could affect a man.

We've all heard the saying that big boys don't cry. This in itself is a problem. Furthermore, for a man to admit he has depression it must be extremely hard.

You may have read an earlier blog I wrote which contained information about the suicide of Gary Speed. Now, for an 'ordinary' bloke I can imagine coming to terms with a mental issue would be difficult however, in cases like those of Gary Speed (a famous footballer) and Kevin Boyle (a chef) it must have been much harder for them given their 'masculine' choices of careers.

There needs to be a shake up to the mental health system. It needs to be made more accessible and it also needs to advertise mental illness better. It needs to be said OUT LOUD that suffering a mental illness doesn't make you weak. Getting help for a mental illness doesn't make you weak. Showing emotion doesn't make you weak!! 

The mental health system is in a very bad state. Doctors are (as I know from experience) far too quick to throw drugs at these problems. A referral to therapy can take months and that may or may not help! I imagine if I had plenty of money I could seek private help from doctors who would actually listen to me but for now, I, like many others, am becoming lost in the system!

I would love to hear from other male sufferers about their experiences, both through the NHS and private health care (or the alternative for their country).

People need to take a stand and have mental illness RECOGNISED as serious and the stigma needs to be REMOVED forever!! 

Keep Smiling :):

Sunday, 5 February 2012


Blog starts here

So I've been on the meds for nearly a month now. I can honestly say I don't feel any different on them. I've had my dosage increased from 10mg to 20mg.

I've gone back to feeling nothingness again. Not entirely sure what's kicked it off this time and I have a feeling it's going to get a whole lot worse!

I've been trying to keep myself busy, socialising and whatnot but it hasn't helped much.

I had a chat with my very close friend K recently. She asked me how I felt. I can be almost completely honest with her. I probably could be 100% honest with her since I doubt she's the kind of person who wouldn't use it against me but I thought that with the ex too....!

Speaking of the ex... yesterday would have been our 4 year anniversary. I've been thinking about it a lot recently. 

I went round to pick up some post a week or so ago and he told me he no longer wanted anything to do with me. I thought after the break up that nothing could hurt me that bad again and boy was I wrong! Had he punched me in the face, stamped on my head, drew a blade across my wrists and poured acid over me... that would have hurt less than him saying he wants nothing to do with me.

You may think I'm being over dramatic but I can assure you I'm not. This guy got right inside my head. He got under my skin! Yeah I'd been in love before but nothing like this. This was a whole different thing! I trusted him, like I've never trusted anyone before. I could tell him things that I couldn't even tell my closest friends. I would say I was about 90% honest with him.

He'd always told me that he'd be here for me if I needed him. Before we ever broke up he'd often said that there's no way we couldn't be friends after separating since we'd been through so much together.

So, judging by this, it was obvious that I was the one who did something wrong. Once again I fucked things up in my own sordid little way!! I wish I knew what it was that I did but I know for sure there's no way he'd ever tell me.

I wish I'd been able to be 100% honest with him. I really do but I can't even be 100% honest with myself!! 

My friend K and I discussed my happiness yesterday. I told her, I honestly couldn't say what being happy feels like. Of course, I've felt happiness to some degree but pure, unadulterated happiness... I have no idea what that feels like or how to even consider going about achieving it! 

I always feel that no matter what I do, what I achieve, none of it is good enough. When you spend your life being put down by everyone around you it's difficult to not believe in what they say to you!! 

I have a big ego...! Anyone who knows me on a personal level can tell you that! However, not many of them can actually tell you that that ego is just a defence mechanism.

I like to act a bigger person that I know I am. Some may call this narcissistic... people fail to see beyond the wall I put up around myself. In all honesty, the reason I act a bigger person and play the "narcissist" is because if I put on this charade AND if I believe in it then other people will believe in it. This to me is like a comfort blanket. I can wrap it around myself like a protective layer. It means I don't have to let anyone in, it means that no one can hurt me. Unfortunately, there are people who manage to penetrate the layer and screw you over anyway! 

On Friday night I wanted to get a good sleep. I was expecting friends over on Saturday and I had to clean my room (a lengthy task!) However, sleep decided to elude me! 

I know how a lot of things we feel in life are psychosomatic and I know that probably the reason I couldn't sleep was because I thought I couldn't sleep!! I tried to distract myself by watching films but my mind kept coming back to the impending 'anniversary'. It's hard not to focus on these things sometimes and the more you try not to think about something the more you seem to think about it!! 

I was starting to feel the usual pressure that I feel in my body when I need to cut. I was feeling a multitude of emotions and I needed to let them out the only way I knew how... cutting!! 

I sat thinking about it for ages! I then took the blade from one of my safety razors. I held it against my skin but I didn't cut. I also had one of my knives, I pressed it into my thumb, causing slight pain but not cutting. Eventually, I fell into an exhausted sleep with both the blade and the knife on my bed! 

I felt proud that I managed not to cut but somehow, I also felt weak. I felt like I'd lost. I'm not sure against what but that's how I felt!! 

I spoke some more with my friend about self actualisation. This is a psychological theory about having an 'ideal self' and an 'actual self'. Many of us have these 'selves' and we go through evens in our lives that either take us closer or further away from our 'ideal self'. I have come to realise that I don't think I can ever achieve my 'ideal self'. Mostly because some of the things I want to become are actually impossible without some kind of lobotomy!! 

However, I have come to realise that maybe it's time to adjust that 'ideal self' and create some goals that I know I can achieve.

I have another doctor's appointment in a few weeks to see how the meds are working. I am hoping they at least have some sort of effect, however minor!! 

Until next time... 

Keep Smiling :(: