A Thank You Note: Words From The Heart

Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart, and not in the mind

Its almost been a year since I wrote my first thank you post, an I couldn’t be more grateful for the support I receive in writing this blog, it invites people into your life who understand, an support you, who feel your pain, but also will you on in happiness, because they’ve walked a similar path in life

We all have our ups an downs, our good days an our bad, its about having the strength to go on, taking small steps that lead to a bigger journey, learning a little more about ourselves along the way

May you follow your dreams, an always believe in yourself, keep your eyes on the stars, an hope in your heart

I’ve learned a lot about myself already, yet I have a lot more to learn, we never truly stop learning new things about ourselves, its about being content with what we find when we look deeper that matters, an realising that there is a lot more to us than the hardships that come with the psychiatric labels we’ve been given

As I said in my last thank you note;

There’s nothing worse than struggling through in life an feeling so apart from the rest of the world, not knowing where to turn, or where we fit in

As long as we know that there are people out there who aren’t so different than us, an who know what its like to go through the same struggles in life, it let’s us know that we aren’t so different after all, that we aren’t alone in all this, an it gives us a little hope

Thank you for following me on my journey, of not recovery, but more self discovery, i wish only for you, what I wish for myself

Everyone who follows my blog, gets followed back, because I like to be part of other life journeys besides my own, an because it means we are in this together

All Encompassing

With having to deal with mental illness on a daily basis, you come to learn more about it, and even understand it a little better, sometimes even better than the doctors themselves, they would call this insight

What I’ve come to realise is that your environment can affect you greatly, you begin, I think to take your life an what encompasses it for granted, overlook it, its a sort of denial, because things become the norm

My brothers as you know were drinking again, fights started breaking out in the midst of it all, my brothers always invite others to come in an join them, then sometimes they all turn on each other

This was one of those times, my mum was called up to help, my aunt, as you know lives there also, and just puts up with it all, not through choice of course, when things get out of hand, the phone rings, asking for our mum to come up and help her

One of the boys that was there drinking with my brothers mother, ended up wanting to fight my mum, they just had words, but still crazy! Earlier in the day this women had slapped my younger brother across the face, so I guess it was an escalation from that, and also the fact my brothers were fighting with her son

I know nothing more than that, she sounds like a nut, but then I heard her family were forced to leave their last town, because they are a bunch of trouble makers

Just when it seemed things were calming down, later that evening my aunts front window got broken, there’s no evidence of who did it, but reading this, I’m sure you too can put the pieces together, its not the first time either, this is why I make a rare appearance on a night of drinking, I like a good night, a night to blow of steam, but I can’t handle the atmosphere, its just not for me

I’m glad we live on the other side of town, but as I’ve said, it doesn’t stop my younger brother landing to our house drunk in the early hours of the morning, shouting an banging on the door, mostly he wants money, lately we’ve just ignored him an he leaves

It is calmer here yes, but I also have my problems with how things are, mum an I have always gotten on well, and have only had one very small fall-out, I always have this yearning to be free, to be on my own, but my fears and illness keep me trapped here, until I’m strong enough to go it alone, I have no choice

Lately my mums started these new antidepressants that make you lose weight, she said they make her feel a lot of anger, so I hope nothing comes from that, though I haven’t noticed anything different in her mood, so she must be handling it ok

Its just another example of what life around me is like, that was the point in this post, its something out of my control, separate from my illness, yet affects me all the same, its unstable, unpredictable, and I have no one in my life that I can feel safe an grounded with

Life In Retrospect

I think I’m caught in an in between, its where you don’t really know how you feel, an you’re in a sort of bubble of denial

My biggest problems these days are for one, my memory, I’m forgetting everything, even simple things like what day it is, an where I’ve left things, not so serious, but it can be annoying, frustrating, and it leaves me feeling very uneasy and sometimes confused, not to mention making me look silly in front of people, especially when I try to keep a certain image with people who know me

Now its like I’m almost acting like myself, how I think I should, I’m playing the part of me! When I talk now, unlike before, its like I can’t make proper sentences, I’m fumbleing with my words, an I hardly make sense to myself never mind others, some days I feel so out of sorts, like I’m disorientated, I hate feeling that way, though saying all that, I have days where I’m completely fine, it comes an goes

I’ve had a bad relapse lately too weight wise, I’m bingeing an over-eating, its come to the point where barely any of my clothes fit me, yet I refuse to buy bigger sizes, I’ve always been a 32′ waist, I keep telling myself its ok, because I’ll loss the weight again, I have no energy, I’m becoming lazy, everything is an effort, because its like I have weights strapped to my body, it takes more effort to get up an do things, I know its all my own doing

Its hard enough for me to leave the house some days as it is, but this is making it worse, when I catch sight of myself in a shop window I suddenly feel exposed, an honestly could cry

I am still going out more often, taking more risks, and trying to live like a normal person as best I can, I don’t want to take too many steps backward, when I feel I’m doing better, when I finally get this claim money, I’m planning a complete life over-haul! I need to kill off this person I’ve become, metaphorically speaking of course

I think my mind is so clouded, an somehow have become somewhat naïve to my own daily life and what’s happening, I sometimes snap back to reality, an it feels like I’ve been on auto-pilot, or like someone else has been living my life through my body, I realise what’s been going on, an then I switch off again, I feel numb I guess

But I’d rather have all that, than being really depressed or worse

What would a post of mine be these days without a family drama update! My younger brother has met a new girl, let’s call her ‘new girl’ as I haven’t even met her yet, they have only known each other for about three months, an my brother already lives with her, in that time, she has already gotten pregnant, but sadly lost it

I shouldn’t have an opinion, as its not my life, but my younger brother wasn’t and is not ready for a child right now, this relationship already feels so rushed as it is, just the other day, the girl phoned us crying an was afraid, my brother got drunk, and was taking tablets, the girl, trying to help him, hid the tablets

My brother went crazy an threw her tv against the wall, I don’t know how long they will last together, its only been three months, and so much has happened in the relationship, the girl already has a child of her own, an doesn’t need to be around all that

My brothers are yet again drinking, and have been since friday, I think they finally gave up last night, my younger brother landed down here again on saturday night at half five in the morning, where in his mind does he think that’s ok? He was banging on the door an shouting ‘mum’ this time we ignored him, an he left

its my aunt I feel bad for, as you know they all live together, my brothers an her, she’s had about five hours sleep since friday, I sometimes wonder if our family life will ever resemble that of a normal family, or even close to one, maybe normal should be stable

I guess my life seems pretty good in comparison these days

Welcome To The Nuthouse

Today is the first day in a while where I actually feel at least a little like myself again

Remember I said I wasn’t going to join in with my older brothers birthday, well don’t judge me, but I did, I wasn’t going to, I don’t know what changed my mind, boredom, guilt perhaps, It didn’t help that i was told that if I didn’t show up, the night wouldn’t go ahead

They had told everyone else the night was off, as the plan was for my brother an his girlfriend to go for a nice meal together etc as they don’t see each other as often now, but that was cancelled, she said that the two of them, my brother an her, can’t drink alone together, so I felt a little pressure

I knew other people would show up regardless, but I went, I went at about half nine saturday night, an didn’t get home until half five monday morning, I may have indulged in some illegal substances, that’s all I’ll say, I know, I’m ashamed already

It was a night of everyone shouting over each other, an talking behind each others backs, yet it was fun, there was seven of us in total, three of which were friends of my older brother an his girlfriend, they are people we never see outside of a ‘party’ atmosphere, my younger brother came the next day an joined in also, by the end I was so tired, an was losing my voice, everyone behaved an there was no trouble, which was good

I left at about half four monday morning, an got home about five am, I’ve never come home so late, because I try an be respectful to my mum an step dad, but I’d had enough an wanted out, I would have slipped in unnoticed, but the dog started barking as I was walking up the stairs

I always say never again, but who knows

That aside, my head is swirling with thoughts lately, you’d think my time was running out, I’m seeing all these things around me, that make me realise how small my life is, how I’m missing out, an that I haven’t lived the way I want to, how I’ve abused myself, an not taken care of myself either, I feel like I’m a failure in that respect, I just want to get myself to a place where I can accept who I am, inside an out, an go from there, which I’m willing to work for

I’m still lost, I don’t know what I want in life, some would say at twenty eight, its a bit late in life to still be searching for what you want, but if you read my blog, you’ll know I didn’t have a normal life, and with mental illness I’m clouded a lot of the time

I try not to complain, but a lot has been taken away from me, now, some days I’m so disorientated I have no choice but to stay in bed, I want to regain my mind back, I want to be in control, but a lot of the time, I’m not

My younger brother gave me a speech albeit when drunk, about how I need to get out there an meet someone, though my family don’t understand that I’m so unhappy within myself, that I couldn’t be with someone right now, even though I have tried dating, an met up etc which I admitted to, I hadn’t mentioned it to them before, because my brothers judge on looks, an then start asking questions about sex, which they see as fine, but I’m a private person, if they want to go into detail about themselves that’s ok, I just don’t

I need to get out from under, I need to be free, yet I’m afraid to go it alone, I need someone to help me fly so to speak, then let go an I’ll spread my wings, does that make sense?

As I said, my mum isn’t ready for me to go, but I am, I might leave it another year, I don’t know, the other day my mum admitted that she’d been bingeing on sweets etc, then making herself sick, its hard to listen to, because I shouldn’t think about just myself, but I need someone around me who is strong, an who I can turn to, an feel I’m safe with, an I’m realising, I don’t have that, have I ever, maybe in that respect, I’m stronger than I think, because I feel I’ve relied on others, when really I haven’t, I’ve gone it alone so many times, an I’m actually the person people turn to, I’m not as helpless as I lead myself to believe

Its time for me to get help again, I need a little boost to get back on track

Finding My Separate Identity

My whole life, I’ve been searching for a separate identity, I’ve realised that i don’t want to be known as just some ones son, or some ones brother anymore

I’ve spent so much time dreaming of a life, a future, that I haven’t really lived, I’ve had some really great moments in life, some amazing experiences, yet as I’m getting older, I feel regret a lot, I’m only twenty eight, so I know I still have time, but I also know that life doesn’t wait around for you to make up your mind

I do feel sad sometimes when I allow myself to think back on certain memories, wishing I had a second chance to do things differently, though at the same time I wouldn’t change anything, because regrets can make you take more chances in life

Times in life that were perhaps not so good, can also be positive, if I can explain this properly, being in foster care was a life that most people will never see, its like living many different lives, in a way I feel I have lived a few times, with each foster parent or family, it was a new start, a new beginning, a whole new life and journey

I feel this new urge to try an live a little more, to say yes to things I would normally avoid, things I haven’t already lived

Saying that, as you know I have been going out a lot more lately, an somewhat living the life of a regular person, which I’m enjoying, I’m in a transitional period where I want an actual life, I’m ready to burst this bubble I’ve been living in, an I’m ready to carve a new path of my own, separate from my family, I’m tired of feeling like I’m being held back an weighed down

I’m beginning to be more honest with myself, an I’m opening my eyes to what’s going on around me

My family are becoming a burden to my life, we may have fun together, but its time to start creating more space between each other, I’ve been standing still with them for so long, living in each others pockets, its like I’ve been trapped in a time loop, being around them at times feels just how it did ten years ago, nothing ever changes, its time one of us steps forward and breaks the bond

My brothers, were drinking yet again last week, and had been for a couple of days, this story is getting old now

My younger brother called to our house at half four in the morning again, waking us all up, asking for money and just being a drunken nuisance as always, what is it with him, and coming to our house at half four?

On thursday past, my mum an step dad called up to visit my brothers, an my aunt, as they often do, I had went with them but had gotten dropped off in town, as I didn’t want to be around them with them drinking, luckily as I walked back to meet up with my mum an step dad again, they were ready to go home

My younger brother had followed my mum out to the car to say goodbye, an to give her a hug etc, I quickly got into the car, and snibbed the door, as I know how he is when drunk, wanting to hug you an being sloppy, he didn’t like that fact an was saying how he couldn’t believe his own brother wouldn’t hug him an whatever, to which I brought up how he disrespects us, he didn’t like me being honest, because he never hears the truth

Mostly I was annoyed because he was being treated like nothing happened, I told mum that being nice to him, was just like forgiveness, to which she said she couldn’t talk to him properly while he was drinking, an that she told him not to be doing it again, no surprise then, when I woke up the next morning to his voice, he had called to our house again, I don’t care that it was at a reasonable time, I’m done with it all

When drunk he sometimes walks into my room, which I don’t like people doing, he walked on into my room, I told him to leave, but he wouldn’t listen, sometimes he smiles or laughs like its a joke, finally I told him that when I get this money I was awarded, he was getting nothing from me, that stirred the pot of course, he left my room, an I could hear him talking to our mum about me, cursing and calling me names

After a few minutes he walked into my room again, telling me never to do anything for him again, I just said ok, he’s over emotional when drunk, a mess really, he feels easily portrayed which sets him off, I can’t be bothered with him anymore

He still sees me as the boy he grew up with in foster care, we were all each other really had for our whole childhood, but I’ve changed, I’m not that same person, I moved home at seventeen and we drifted apart, I’m not as close to him as I once was, even when we lived together, I saw him as a burden, I didn’t like being tied to him, an always being accused of being a bad influence on home, I wanted my own separate identity, as we got older, and finally moved into the childrens home, I found any excuse to distance myself from him

After he finally left our house, I was told he had left a message with our mum for me, which he made her swear to give to me, he said he didn’t want the money, more or less to shove it, then it ended with a word which was slang, the nice way to tell you without actually saying it is, basically it meant I was handicapped

I heard him call me a name as he passed by my room on the way out also, an mum told me that she watched him give the fingers toward my bedroom window as he was walking away

My older brothers birthday is coming up, yet again it will be another excuse to drink all night, I’ve decided not to go, he’ll have plenty of others there, so I’m sure he won’t miss me too much, I don’t want that life anymore, these days going into a bar etc an having a couple of drinks an a laugh is enough for me

I told my mum, everything I’ve said here, a part of me felt like the words coming out of my mouth were wrong somehow, but it felt good to speak my mind, I can’t tell what will happen with me, or what I’ll finally decide to do, I only know how I feel, an how I’ve been feeling for some time now, I’m not happy, and my family are a big part of that

Getting Lost In Ourselves

I wrote before, about how I never let myself imagine a future, a life, or anything more than what I have now, when I do allow myself too, I get this strange feeling, like a happiness, yet its like I’m imaging the life of someone else, sometimes I can’t see beyond next week, like ‘future’ is something of dreams

I feel as though life with mental illness, is like a sort of amnesia, we get lost in ourselves, it keeps us trapped in the here an now, something that consumes your mind can take away so much, make things hazy, so much time is spent wishing for a better day, that so many others pass us by in the meantime

When things stay the same for so long, we don’t grow as people, we limit ourselves in life, staying behind, as others move on without us, while we are left with regrets

I go through these transitions sometimes, I’ve just never taken a chance, a real risk, an stepped out from behind my families shadow, real change is more than just words, an although I’m nervous an a little scared, I’m ready for the next chapter in my life now, where I’m the lead in my own story

Moving on to reality, an the present, I finally saw my financial adviser, who told me I get to keep my awarded money, as long as I have a trustee account, its a loop-hole in the law, which even he’s surprised hasn’t been closed yet, so I was worrying about nothing, though I didn’t have all the facts, it just seemed to good to be true

I’ll have the money in about three weeks, though I don’t think its fair that I have to pay him £750 just to set up the trustee account for me, I have no choice really

Right now, I’m sort of at a stand still, so I’m looking forward to the days ahead

Over the past week, the family drama continued, my brothers were drinking again, I know many people live for the weekend, but with my brothers there is always drama, this time my older brother was no trouble, is was my younger brother who had to cause problems

The other day, he landed to our house at half four in the morning, waking us all up looking to be let in, banging the door an roaring ‘mum’ outside, I would have ignored him, but no, he was let in, he was falling on the stairs an falling into my mums bedroom tv, when asked why he came at that time, ‘because I love you’ is all I heard, my step-dad had to get up in another two hours for work, the lack of respect just makes me angry

Later he was phoning mum, saying he was suicidal, and was going to cut himself, supposedly he had a knife to his throat, an is now left with a slight mark, but I know it was more for attention, he can’t handle alcohol, an god knows what else he was on

He abuses the medication he gets, that being diazepam an tablets for nerve damage, opening the caps an sniffing whatever is inside, at times he walks around like a zombie, slurring his words, lately my aunt has started taking his medication an hiding it, only giving him what he’s allowed

Its the stress they cause our mum, our aunt, all of us really, they can’t see beyond themselves, an how they feel, I wish they could see it from the other side

They bring trouble on themselves and us, only friday night, my aunt had a bottle thrown at her living room window, luckily it didn’t break, the police didn’t do a thing, they said as it had been raining, they couldn’t take the bottle as evidence

We can’t change other people, or help them for that matter, if they don’t want to, if they are happy with their lives, an don’t want to listen, there’s not much you can do, both my brothers have a problem, any excuse an they drink, ‘being young’ as my younger brother says, isn’t a good enough one, we have to put up with it, we are the ones who suffer

Something Thats Just Mine

I think about my past, and I think about the present, and all the in between, an I realise I’ve never had a moment where I’ve been truly happy, I’ve come really close a few times, but nothing that lasted, I’ve had some amazing experiences yet I still feel unfulfilled, there’s defiantly a void there

I realise that I hold on tight to the good times, the memory, maybe trying to recreate past moments that may turn out similar, but will never be the same, I need to realise that things that happened in the past, are exactly that, the past, I can create new moments, new memories, moving on is hard, but that’s what I need to do, I need to let go

Lately, I’m still feeling ok I guess, I’m hanging in there, I am feeling a lot of different emotions though, mainly a sadness that shadows me, I think it stems from over thinking, about others being able to pick up and move on easier than I can, I feel like the one left behind, i just don’t feel like luck is on my side, like I’m cursed, I’m also dreaming about my past a lot, but with everything going on with me, I’d say that’s to be expected

I’m coming closer to a decision about the money I’ve been awarded, if I have to sign off of benefits (ESA) to truly enjoy it, then that’s the risk I have to take, I’ve never had anything that’s been just mine, my childhood was taken from me, an I’ve spent ten years fighting this case, I’ve earned this moment, a moment I probably won’t ever have again

Even though I have this money, i think I’m still entitled to disability allowance, as it isn’t means tested, that means you can work while receiving it, you can have savings an assets, this has helped me come to a decision a little easier, I never wanted to have to decide between the two, it’d be like a fish jumping from one net, only to land in another

As I won my case, all the money I’ve ever received from disability has been paid back, that makes me feel good, but I’m scared, its a big decision, for me at least, and with the money comes my family, we both know what I mean by now

Speaking of family, what would my life be without some of their drama yet again, I hope I make sense explaining this mess

My brothers were drinking a few days ago, by now that should be no surprise to you, I don’t join in anymore, I used to, as an escape from my life, if only for a little while, but I realised, that wasn’t something I wanted in my life anymore, that things are messed up enough for me without going out and seeking more than what I can handle

My older brothers girlfriend as you know had their baby, and had to move back home with her parents, I’ve explained all that before, anyway she gets two nights a week to do her own thing while her mum watches the baby for her, she and her parents from what I’ve heard don’t get on anymore

She came to visit my brother, and of course she was drinking also, she has to be home for eleven, when she did get back home, her dad started to film her on his phone, the state she was in etc, an was threatening to show it to social services, they had a fight, she left and came back to my brother

My younger brother, had brought over a girl he met on the internet, this was their first time meeting, remember he did the same thing on christmas day with another girl, the girls he meets are always a little nutty, from what I was told she’s only twenty three, an she’s already had two kids that are no longer with her, an she lives in a hostel, so you can tell she’s not all there, this girl ended up staying with him for another three days

Saying that, my brother has already moved on to the next girl, does that sound normal to you

As you also know both my brothers live with my aunt, its her I feel sorry for, having to put up with all this

Anyway, later my brothers the girlfriend, and the internet girl decided to go to a party out of town, but my brothers girlfriend being drunk was speeding, coming to a round-about, the breaks didn’t work and the car hit one of those little islands in the middle of the road, started spinning in circles, hit the round-about, and the axle broke

Being drunk, my older brother and his girlfriend left the car an threw away the keys, which doesn’t make sense, but then again they were drunk, so when the police came to the car, they found my younger brother and the internet girl sitting listening to music, crazy

I think the story the police got was that, my brothers girlfriend went to find help, since then her insurance has paid for the car being toed, and paid her a thousand pound, most importantly, no one was hurt, so I guess it all worked out, luckily!

I don’t condone any of it, I’m just glad I wasn’t there, or in any way involved

A Run Of Bad Luck

Its a shame, in life when things finally seem to be going your way, then little things begin to creep in to bring you down again, most people would chalk these little things up to, ‘that’s life’ me, I call it a run of bad luck, i find myself saying lately, ‘give me a break!

So I’m finally over my flu, though I’m still stuck with the cough, which is really annoying, I sound like an old 40 a day smoker, I was eating a sweet the other day an I broke a tooth, the dentist, of course can’t see me for a week, then I was only moving my step dads coat out of the way, an there just happened to be a wasp in the neck line, an I got stung, nothing serious maybe, but its relentless

On a more serious note, the money I was awarded on my claim, I’ve found out i can’t touch, so I’m left confused as what to do now

As I’m on benefits, the money has to go into a trust fund, I have to see a man next week who will explain everything to me, but from what I understand, it goes into a trust, so I don’t lose my benefit, which then means I will have to request money from the trustees, who will decide whether what I want is necessary in regards to my illness, and only then will that amount be released to me

Again I won’t know everything until I see this man, but I think I read that if I appoint a trustee, say my mum, an give her full control over the account, she would be spending the money on my behalf, an so the money is overlooked by the government, its something I’m clinging to

I feel so much pressure, I promised my family money, but giving lump sums away is seen as fraud, as it appears you’re trying to get rid of the money, so I won’t be able to do that now, I’m sure they won’t be too happy about it, the other choice is to sign off benefits, and then I get the money free an clear, this is where it gets complicated for me, an i will have to explain how I feel without sounding bad

Benefits have always been a safety net for me, knowing I’m taken care of, while getting better, or well enough at least to someday hopefully rejoin the real world again, some people might think its easy to claim benefit, maybe for some it is, but for me, the medical appointments, and the constant proving to these people over an over again that you’re let’s say ill enough, takes its toll, I only just got my disability allowance awarded again in may, the anxiety an panic it caused me waiting for their decision was horrible

So this is where I may come off as wrong, I won the money for years of childhood neglect and abuse, the claim case alone took ten years to win, to sign off benefits would mean that my awarded money would be my sole income, for me, having to live on the money kind of defeats its purpose, an would just complicate my life even more in the long run, don’t I deserve to enjoy it, for what I went through? because I’m ill, its like I’m being punished

When the money is gone, I’d have to somehow prove that its been spent, and then go through the process all over again, proving myself to get my benefits back, I know you have to wait at least six months before claiming again, that’s if I’m even allowed to, so now I’m stuck with maybe either being told how and when I can spend the money, or having the money and living off it, am I wrong for thinking this way? The whole thing feels wrong to me

I feel like I’ve been strung along by my solicitor, who never told me about any of this, I had to look it up myself online, I feel like I’ve been used, like I’ve been nothing but a meal ticket, I feel like I’ve been digging myself a hole for the last ten years

In ten years I was never really asked how I was in regards to my illness, when I couldn’t make appointments as I wasn’t feeling well, I had to deal with my solicitors secretaries passive aggressive forms of blackmail, telling me things like, if I was seen as not taking the case seriously, the case could be thrown out

For some it might seem like an easy choice, but it isn’t, for me, its my life

If anyone reading this has advice, or knows anything about this, or legal matters, I’d love to hear from you…