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

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

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

Making Progress

This post originally started of complaining about how I’m feeling lately, then I thought no, I don’t want every post to be me rambling on about the negatives, so instead, I’m focusing (mostly) on the positives that have come from how I’m feeling

Just before we get to that… I saw my doctor again this week, as you know every time I see the doctor, Dr H, he keeps telling me its anxiety that’s making me feel ill, that ‘we’ need to get this under control, he does do some physical tests, which to him show that I’m ok, then, apart from stupid jokes all he gives me is paracetamol, before sending me home to just get on with it

I’ve actually been feeling better mentally in some ways lately, mainly that’s down to feeling ill, I guess its a ‘what have I got to lose’ sort of confidence

I’m going out at least once a day, on my own, no taxis, at times that I wouldn’t normally have, I’m taking time to look around and go to different shops, before I would have rushed home after getting what I need

I’ve ordered an paid for meals, where as I used to get someone else to do it for me to avoid going up alone to the counter, I’m walking by certain people that I normally would have avoided, before I would have crossed the road, or went a different way

I’ve started my driving lessons, I’ve only had two so far, but I’m enjoying it, I’m also studying my theory, and trying to keep busy, I went shopping out of town in belfast, which some people will know is a big place, an I’ve arranged to go for a few drinks with an old friend next week

That’s a nice way of saying, my brothers ex girlfriend, just because they have spilt up an moved on and are seeing other people, doesn’t mean I can’t still keep in touch with someone I became friends with

For me this is the life I wanted, a normal life where I’m not afraid an finally feel like I’m part of the real world, I can’t lie and say its easy, but its not as scary as I’ve allowed myself to imagine

I’ve told the doctor this, as a way to prove it couldn’t just be anxiety that’s making me feel ill, that I feel ill an then get anxious, not the other way around, but he won’t listen, he just said that because of how I’m feeling, I shouldn’t be driving

I had to see my solicitor about another matter the other day, but I did bring up about how I’m feeling, and how my doctor won’t do anything (he did agree to send me for a brain scan, but that was just to humour me, and even then that was after many appointments and going to A&E) the solicitor told me that, if the doctor didn’t do enough to help me, and I find that by him delaying proper tests etc, it leads to more serious consequences, I have a case for a claim, and I won’t think twice about it

To be honest, the biggest stress in my life apart from feeling ill, is my family, constantly asking, or should I say hounding me for money, then not paying me for weeks at a time, I explained a bit more about this in my post ‘selfish ways’

You can never do enough, just yesterday my younger brother asked me to pay for his taxi into town, when I said no, he came anyway and told my aunt I had agreed to pay for it, believing him she paid the taxi, which cost her £35, she didn’t have much choice as the taxi man was threatening to go to the police, so then today I had to lend her money again, it was my younger brother asking me to, if he hadn’t come in the taxi there wouldn’t have been a problem

But he knew my older brother had friends over an that they were drinking, he would have done anything to come over, he’s that desperate for a drink

He said when he asks for money, an I say ‘I’ll think about it’ that always means yes, I usually do give in, but not anymore, the sad thing is, they are making me become someone I don’t want to be

They know I’m not well at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped them adding extra stress, they are so selfish sometimes, and don’t think of others

They always say you should never lend family or friends money, because when you ask for it back, you’re the bad guy

Middle Child Misfit

My brothers have only finished another drinking binge which started on friday night, they were ringing me yesterday begging for money, and it got me thinking about the relationship between us and how different I am, compared to how similar they are

Sometimes I think that my older an younger brother should have been the ones to grow up in foster care together (instead of my younger brother an I) and that I should have been the one to grow up at home, because those two are so similar, and we are nothing alike

They wear the same clothes, they get the same hair cut, they talk the same way, they both put on that strut that most men do, by doing all this they follow the trend of all boys/men around here, they are clones of each other, they all look and act alike, I don’t follow the trend, I’m happy to be an individual

They love the life style of ‘partying’, drinking at any opportunity, I can’t say I’m an angel, because I have joined in a few times, I’ll usually be in a bad place before I do though, and just do it to let loose and escape from what I’m going through

They phone, text and message each other over facebook, whereas I don’t even have their mobile numbers, mainly because I have nothing to say to them

My older brother an I have never been close, its funny that having a drink together was the thing to finally get us talking an having some kind of brotherly relationship, though mainly it was because I had become close to his girlfriend, and it was because of her that I’d join in and we’d all do things and go places together, but now that he’s split up with her, she’s not there anymore as a buffer, so I only see us growing apart again

Its hard for me, because she’s my friend, and I still want that friendship but I’m undecided and feel like I’d be betraying my brother, they only broke up, and within two weeks she was with one of my younger brothers old friends, then the calls started with her new boyfriend using private info that only she knew against my brother, thankfully things have calmed down since, an my brother has also sort of met a new girl, even though he’s told her he doesn’t want anything serious

I won’t let myself become close to her, because I don’t see her being around that long

Anyway back to my post….

My younger brother an I grew up together, we were all we really had, but since we left care and moved home, we’ve grown apart, I don’t feel I even know him anymore, he still sees me as that boy he knew back then, even though I’ve changed, he likes to think we know each other better than anyone, but again its the me from back then he sees

The only time I talk to my brothers, is when we visit them, or they phone here looking to talk to our mum an I answer the phone, when they need money or if we all go out somewhere as a family

My older brother is always either drinking, or has just finished a binge, he’s always in a mood an never seems happy, he’s always sick an spends most of his time in his room recovering or asleep, even though he’s thirty now, my aunt has no life at all, constantly running after him, doing everything for him, getting no sleep because he drinks an parties for days, inviting people over and leaving their home in a mess, which my aunt is left to clean

When we visit, he’s always calling our aunt names, either that or he’s threatening her, in the past he used to hit her and leave her face all bruised, which she’d try an hide with her hair

Just yesterday she was limping because he had kneed her in the leg, she told me he was playing and didn’t mean to do it so hard, yet she told my mum that she had been in town for quite a while, which would mean she’d been away from home for some time, an that’s why he did it

When my brother was about five, my aunt would have been about fourteen, he’s convinced that our aunt interfered with him in some sexual way, even though he can’t even remember what happened or even if anything actually did, but yet he holds that against her, and that’s why he treats her that way, or that’s the impression he gives, social services got involved, but nothing came from it, no one ever really talks about it or tries to resolve it, if it was me, I’d ask for the reports an find out once and for all what happened, wouldn’t my aunt want to clear her name (this was one of those private things my brothers ex’s new boyfriend was using against him)

Similarly, my younger brother now lives with his girlfriend, they never really do anything together because he can’t leave the house without having a drink, (saying its because he feels weird everyday) so when they do, he drinks, causes trouble and ruins their day, his girlfriend always ends up getting a bus or taxi home an leaving him behind to get on with it

He’s become like her second child, because he won’t leave the house, she has to do all his messages, then they argue all the time, she has a young baby to think off, so I’m surprised they are still together

He found out some time ago that he has hepatitis C, and hasn’t even told her yet, he got it from using a dirty needle to inject (I think heroine or meth) not to get too into detail as its my brother I’m talking about, but of course they sleep together, and that’s how its easily passed on, she may already have it and doesn’t even know

My mental illness has held me back more than I’d like, but I’m a good example that you can live the same life as everyone else without getting into trouble and ruining peoples lives, people always see me as the nice one, the quiet one, I’m always the one people like and warm to, I guess its a good reputation to have

Maybe its a middle child thing, maybe its just life, but my brothers an I are polar opposites

Inner Monologue: Summer Snapshots

Reflection in the mirror
Like someone unknown

Dizzy but happy
Clack, clack, clack, my finger hitting off the boards of a neighbours fence

Chalk drawings kids have left
Petals fall from a cherry blossom tree like confetti

The churp of a bird, the buzz of a bee
The smell of wood chips and freshly cut grass

Crisp, soft smudges under foot like walking on sand
sunlight and a breeze
Daffodils wilting in the heat

An animal runs through the bushes, heart rushes
Sky, blue like water

Friends talking, smiles
No looking down, you’re not afraid

Before its begun, home again

Sometimes, Things Change

Life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change

I’m going through a lot lately, I haven’t felt well for some time now, an until I have my brain scan, I won’t truly know what’s going on, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared, but in a way, if all goes well, its a good thing, because its making me look at my life, and making me want to live

I feel myself changing, for the better, I’m beginning to think more about life, my life, an how I’ve wasted so much time out of fear, fear of what might happen, so never taking the chance to find out, that and my social phobia have kept me trapped behind these four walls for so long, until now, where its become my prison

I used to love staying at home, closing the door an shutting the rest of the world out, I’d see people outside, leading their normal lives an be glad I was safe, away from them, because of all the ways they could hurt me, an because I didn’t feel like I belonged, now I look out and wish that I was apart of it

I have been going out a little more often, even if most days that’s just getting a taxi into town, doing a bit of shopping an then walking home, instead of rushing home I’m taking time to enjoy the sunny weather, walking slower to take it all in

I’ve been out for a few meals, and although I felt really uncomfortable, I still enjoyed it, I also went to the circus, I’ve loved it since I was a child, though I don’t feel like I’m pushing myself enough, because to me, these things are still what you’d call safe

In the weeks ahead, I’m going to be starting my driving lessons, I’m applying for my passport, and have shopping trips planned for out of town, I’m also looking into getting concert tickets, I think adele is going on tour this year? I saw that somewhere, its small steps, but its about moving my life forward at this point

I’m also really considering looking into doing a course at college, or ‘tech’ as they call it here, it might come to nothing, but the fact that I’m willing to try, is a big step for me

I feel, dealing with this illness when I was a teenager, or even in my early twenties, was ok, because my life was still ahead of me, I had plenty of time, now at twenty nine (which I know is still young) I feel more like life is moving on without me, one day I’ll look in the mirror, and I’ll see an old man, and wonder where the time went

A life of regret isn’t a life lived

Illness aside, i’ve always felt this strange guilt, that having a life, would leave my family behind, I’ve always felt like I needed to be close to them, so I’ve held myself back on purpose, but like mine, what mum wouldn’t want her child to do well, obviously this isn’t the life she saw for me

I feel its time, all I can do is try

In The Meantime

They say the definition of insanity, is doing the same thing over an over and expecting a different result, that’s how I felt before today

I had another bad panic attack last night, its horrible being caught in the middle of a panic attack while at the same time you’re slightly sedated by your medication, in the midst of it all I kept saying, I can’t do this anymore, I just can’t do it

I can’t take another night of this torment, so today I did what I said I would, and went to A&E, they don’t have any doctors in our towns A&E, so there wasn’t anything they could do for me, they did contact my doctors surgery, an they made an appointment for me to come in, I actually thought it was my doctor who asked me to come in, but he knew nothing about it

I kept thinking I might as well go home, because I only saw my doctor about a week ago, what more can he really do, I phoned my mum to tell her what happened, and see what she thought I should do, she told me to go to the doctors, and make him do something for me

By this time it was almost four o’clock, and all the schools were getting out, usually I would never be out around that time, because of my social phobia I can’t handle big crowds, but I think because of my nerves and anxiety from going to A&E by myself, an not knowing what would happen, I didn’t care as much

When I saw the doctor he gave me the same tests I talked about in my last post, he also tried to get me do other things like walk across the room for him, I refused, I just couldn’t be bothered, I’m tired of being treated like a seal doing the same tricks on command, and I was annoyed that he made a stupid joke about my head falling off, how I feel isn’t a joke

This time though, he said he’d send me for a brain scan, because I’m only getting worse, and its affecting me mentally

I’m already suffering enough, but this is giving me urges to self harm, but self harming doesn’t do anything for me, I’ve also thought about drinking, but then I think what’s the point

In the meantime, all I can do is try an deal with it the best I can, though I think with mental illness, ‘in the mean time’ can be the hardest time

Lies Get You No-where

Or should that be the truth…..

I’m still not feeling any better, so my mum convinced me to see the doctor again last week, and ask for something more to be done for me, I kept saying that its a waste of time, that he’ll do nothing for me, so this time I decided to go but stretch the truth to try an force his hand

I told him, that I was in such a mess a few days before, to the point where I had to phone lifeline, and that, only for the fact I refused to give my address, they were going to send someone out to the house

Although this isn’t true, I was in a mess, an at the point where I almost did phone them, I have in the past, and didn’t really find it helpful, an although I may be slowly unravelling, I’m not suicidal

His response was, ‘oh good, when are they coming to see you’ as I just wrote I said I hadn’t given my address, truthfully I was hoping for more of a response, wouldn’t any normal doctor have at least been a little worried?

That was my only lie, which came to nothing anyway, so moving on, I told him about how I’m having bad headaches, pains in my head, how I always feel dizzy and have vertigo, and at times feel really disorientated

He gave me tests, the same tests as last time, cover an eye, point to his finger then my nose, point to which finger he was moving etc, he never gets off his chair, just rolls up beside you, it didn’t help that his groin was pressing up against my knee the whole time

Finally at the end of the appointment, he told me that my anxiety was taking hold of me, I hate that word now, anxiety, every niggle every pain, every time I feel sick, I’m being told the same thing, anxiety, then I’m left to go home an just deal with it

The thing is, I can’t deal with it anymore, Its been weeks, I’m worn out, an there’s only so much a person can take, at one point I became paranoid that my doctors were working together behind my back, because they want me to, I don’t know suffer, I know that’s not true, its just my messed up thoughts

I know its partly down to anxiety that’s making my symptoms worse, and it is beginning to affect my mental state, because its like I can feel the life slowly draining from me, and there are days when I wonder will this be the day something finally happens, which made me write a note to my mum an a make shift will, nothing to do with suicide, just in case something did happen to me, I know that’s extreme, but I can’t help how I feel

Its funny how feeling ill can make you angry, and how that anger can make you more assertive and confident, after a while you feel you have nothing left to lose

I really hope I am an anxious mess, because if I’m not I’ll be going to my solicitor an claiming for negligence, I’m gonna go to A&E soon, maybe this week, and have them do tests, why should I suffer when I can have tests done to reassure me, I just need to be sure, there are stories all the time where peoples symptoms are overlooked

If I’m wrong, which I hope I am, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve wasted everyones time

Letting Out The Hurt

I don’t like the darkness inside myself, but I hurt just like everyone else, its nothing to be ashamed of, but sometimes the darkness has a voice, allowing yourself to listen can be dangerous

Some people deal with things in different ways, some people self harm, but that never worked for me, I like to feel emotion, because I spend so much time blocking everything out, becoming numb and feeling nothing, because it makes me feel safe, but some times I allow myself to feel, I allow my inner voice to speak, and its honesty can hurt, so I allow myself to break down, to cry, to feel, to let out the hurt

At first, I’d cry, I’d say why is this happening to me, I’m a good person, but other times you begin to think that you’re being punished, you doubt yourself, maybe you’re not so good of a person after all

Sometimes I become some one that I don’t want to be, we all know who we really are inside, but this illness takes hold, and compromises my very personality, people see sides to you that they don’t like, but always remember, but its not the real you they see, you always want people to see you for who you really are, and not the illness

You can live your life around mental illness, but at the same time its as though there’s someone behind you, whispering in your ear, never letting you forget

With all the pain I’m having, and how I feel, its slowly chipping away at me everyday, I realised that every time I’ve had, I’ll call them bad times, each time has been worse than the last, and lasts longer

At the moment, I’m in a situation where apart from blogging, I’m just going to have to deal with it on my own (even though I can’t) because I’ve exhausted the help available for the moment, until I see the mental health team again, I’m trying to suffer in silence, I don’t want people to become tired of me complaining

Yesterday I was thinking, I’ve had a couple of days where I haven’t felt as bad, so maybe whatever is happening with me is lifting, I felt a little relieved, I felt more like myself again

Last night I went out with my mum an step dad, nothing special, we were bored an went to the local amusements, just to get out of the house for an hour or so, I don’t know what it was, but I suddenly felt closed in, and overwhelmed, the tv was too loud, it felt as though the place was crowded, even though there was only one other person there, my head starting feeling really strange, fussy, dizzy, like I could pass out and my eyes felt unnaturally heavy

I started to panic, I ran to the bathroom an locked myself in, I looked at myself in the mirror to get some kind of centre, it took me a long time to come around

Even when I feel relaxed, and happier, I’m having these episodes, but the doctors are telling me its anxiety, I’ve tried telling myself that its all in my head, trying to use will power over my illness, but its not working

I woke up today, an I’m right back to where I was a few days ago, I just don’t know what to do anymore, i don’t want to just lay down and give in to it, but its like I can’t handle anything right now, the slightest little thing and I’m having heart palpitations and headaches, I’m becoming more isolated and living in a bubble where everything around me has to be controlled for my own well-being and sanity

I’ve started to think I’m in the middle of a breakdown

Even my mum has said she thinks I’m more ill than I realise, of course I tell her everything, but she says I say things some times that aren’t normal, delusional even

I guess you only think you know yourself, because to you, that is your normal