Water keeps on flowing


As much as I feel my life has been at a standstill for a long time now, I’ve actually lived here in Scotforth Road for nearly a year, and am about to move again. Over the last few months, I’ve been in such a state of mental stagnation personally that I’ve seen very little worth writing about. I don’t want every post in my blog to be about how much it sucks to be depressed and have anxiety (it’s a lot, by the way) and I fear that’s what it would turn into if I was in a more regular posting routine at the moment. I barely sleep, hardly ever leave the house, and only ever seem to think about how badly I’ve ruined my life since I left home. I’m in a constant state of fear that it won’t be too much longer before my boyfriend and friends give up on me entirely.

Which, in a round-about way, brings me to my point. Even if I was inclined to write more often and with more detail about my present state of mind, I seem to have fractured my writing bone. That first paragrpah is such a poorly written heap that I can’t see how to tidy it up without causing it to collapse in on itself. So not only would my posts be very maudlin, self-depricating and miserable, they’d be poorly written and unpleasent to read, too. No-one wants to read stuff like that.

Still Alive


I have been having a particularly horrible week. So much has gone wrong in the last seven days that I am tempted to just call this the worst week I’ve had, in memory. Family members are ill, I’ve got no money, and a friend who I thought would always have my back were actually just waiting for the right opportunity for the knife.

As someone with quite severe depression, this has all led to me having some pretty horrible thoughts about self harm and suicide. As you can probably guess, I haven’t killed myself and I think the largest factors towards my not having committed or attempted suicide boil down to a couple of things.

First and foremost, Chris. Even with my incredibly low self-esteem, I know beyond any doubt that if I killed myself, Chris would be devastated. He loves me and cares for me more than I ever thought anyone would. I stop and think about it sometimes and I’m blown away. I really can’t understand it but Chris is not the kind of guy who would ever or could ever fake these kinds of emotions. He’s not particularly open, emotionally, and I think that his love for me is the only extreme or intense emotion I’ve ever seen him display. How could I inflict something like me committing suicide on him? A fine way to repay all of his kindness and generosity.

How To Save A Life – The Frey – this video can speak to anyone who has lost someone and subsequently wished they could have done something to prevent it.

Leading neatly on from that is the fact that I could never do it to any of my friends or family, either. No parent should have to outlive their child, and no friend should ever be made to feel that they couldn’t intervene, that their friendship wasn’t enough to help convince a person to stay alive. It would be left to someone I love and care about to clear out my bedroom, too, and I can’t think of anything worse for someone who is grieving to have to do, especially with a bedroom as personal as mine. Every thing on every shelf is some outward display of a memory or an emotion or an aspect of my personality. I attach huge amounts of sentimentality to objects that have no real worth, and there will be someone out there who will understand something about each item. I still have a small heart made of tinfoil that Karl made me in the lower sixth. No worth to anyone but him and me, and while it might seem easy for someone to throw it away, what if you knew that it held some kind of memory, some little part of the person who used to own it, even if you don’t know what the memory is? I wouldn’t find it easy.

Thirdly, as much as there are things I hate about myself and my life, there are so many things that aren’t shit. I love music. I love reading. I love video games. I love spending whole evenings with people who I love, watching TV shows and talking. I love my friends, my family and my boyfriend more than anything. I love my cats and my dog. I love nature and all the amazing, breathtaking things she is capable of. I love ingenuity and capabilities of mankind (even if I don’t always approve of the uses they’re put to). I love the way it feels when Chris looks me in the eyes and tells me that he loves me, and the way his hands feel when he holds me.

What I think the most important factor is more of the how than the why. I’ve already expressed concern for whoever gets stuck with the horrible job of emptying my bedroom, but what about the person who would find the body? I can’t imagine much that would be more awful than finding someone like that. If I were to do it in my house, the most likely candidate for finding the body would be someone I care about whichever of my housemates was to find it. Worst case scenario would involve Chris finding me – he’s had to deal with that once in his life already, and if there is anyone who doesn’t deserve something horrible to happen to them, it’s Chris. He is kind, generous, shy, polite and would never do anyone any harm without severe provocation.

I could never do it in a way that impacts another person, either. I just think it so selfish, the people who commit suicide by throwing themselves under trains. I wonder if they’ve ever given a thought to just how really, seriously traumatic that would be for the train driver? I used to fantasize about jumping off the train bridge in Lancaster as a non-stop train sped through, but I just can’t bring myself to subject anyone to that, let alone a random stranger just trying to do their job. On top of that, imagine the chaos – it takes so little to disrupt train service, there would be many people inconvenienced just because of me.

Lastly, no matter how bad it feels when I am usurped by the oppressive certainty that everything is shit, I’m not worth anything to anyone, and nothing will ever be ok again, when I am lucid and rational and only mildly convinced of the world’s hostility to me, I hope.

I hope that one day I will be healthy and whole and happy again, that one day Chris and I will have a place of our own that I can fill with clutter and colourful rugs with blankets and throws over all the chairs and a welcoming front door. I can hope that in the future I’ll start each day with a smile and be the person I’ve promised myself I can be.

I hope that Sam will realise that in the classic “reason/season/lifetime” paradigm, he is supposed to be a lifetime friend. WE are supposed to be lifetime friends. I hope he’ll realise just how horrible this whole situation is, just how much we both lose from this. I hope he’ll realise that no-one will ever care about him like I do. Without him I have almost no doubt I wouldn’t have managed to make it through the last two years in Lancaster. I hope he’ll realise that the trust and loyalty he can get from a best friend is greater than that which he can expect from a girl to whom he is the other guy, the guy she’s cheating on her boyfriend with, the guy she kissed out of mild curiosity and swore blind she didn’t have any interest other than friendship.

I hope that someday I will actually be able to do what I want. I want people to like me. I want to do things that make their lives better and happier and richer, somehow. I want to be the woman who Chris deserves. I want to be the friend that my friends deserve.

I hope that one day, I can be my own person with no shadowy black dog lurking around every corner in my mind. I hope I’ll be free.

With Friends Like These…


I’ve never been the most popular person around. For my whole life, I’ve had to get used to being the person from an odd-numbered group who has to sit on their own on the bus, or the one people forget to invite to places. I’m the one who gets edged out when someone new and more interesting comes along. The one who’s only part of the group because they just won’t stop turning up places.

In the few years I’ve been living in Lancaster, there have been a few occasions where I’ve mistakenly assumed that this effect has worn off and that I have settled into a group. With the people at Archery, it became obvious very quickly when I was no longer welcome around, though the only thing I’d done was fallen in love with the president of the society and the captain’s best friend.

Possibly one of the most hostile and difficult situations I’ve ever been in; the overnight stay in Chester will remain vividly etched in my mind as one of the worst weekends of my life. When the aforementioned man and myself ended our relationship, there was no longer any question of me being able to shoot – my bow proved to quickly become a three hundred pound paperweight.

Luckily for me, not all of my forays into pre-established friendship groups proved so harmful to my mental health; my attendance at RocSoc was simply not high enough to become firmly established in that social group. I know the people, and they know me, but aside for a couple of exceptions we’re never going to be bosom-buddies. Less intimacy and attachment; less eventual pain.

The place I really did think I’d stick, however, was LURPS. Lancaster university role-playing society. Full of people who were teased in school and consider themselves to be socially ‘different from the norm’. Even I couldn’t be considered annoying or weird compared to some of these guys, right?

For a while, I was so enamoured by everyone in LURPS that I found it hard to settle into a particular group. Before too long though, I gathered a few people I was particularly interested and amused by, people I thought I could trust and enjoy the company of, and we became a group, a brigade even. A core group of six with some peripheral people, and I felt like I’d found my own version of the Friends cast, people who I’d continue to be friends with through my twenties and beyond.

Despite some hiccups, such as Dan leaving Lancaster (if you’re reading this, Dan, we miss you!), we’re still here three years on. Three years of trying and testing each other, laughing, crying, and loving together, and I thought that I’d finally be able to tick ‘lifetime friends’ off my list of things I need for a satisfactory life.

It seems though, that life thought I needed another false start, another lesson learned. To offset the balance of a social group is a very easy thing, especially when the group contains someone such as me, who is so easily displaced from their comfort zone. I fill a particular role in the group – I am the only girl, the main ear that gets confided in, the funny, cute girl who messes about and kicks butt in Team Fortress 2. I also take a lot of maintenance as a friend, something I know and am trying hard to work on. I am almost obsessively sociable; even when I’m feeling anti-social or ill I want there to be people around me, so I can listen to them talk and know that I’m not alone when I’m feeling at my worst.

For three years, I have been able to have all the support that I need from this group of friends, and from Sam more than most. He and I are ‘best’ friends, and despite several ups and downs between us, I thought that wasn’t going to change, at least not while we continue to house share.

Now though, there’s someone else. A girl I can’t even bring myself to have any hostile feelings towards; she and I have always been towards the ‘friends’ end of the acquaintance scale, and from what I can tell she is a lovely, interesting, funny, pretty, gamer girl.

For almost the whole time he’s known her, Sam has been interested in her, and I can’t blame him. Nothing ever came of it though, because she has had a boyfriend since before Sam ever met her. Nevertheless, his interest never waned; he just supressed it. Until recently. I don’t want to air out exactly what’s happening between them, so what it comes down to is that she has very quickly become a close friend to Sam.

I had no worry when Sam was pursuing her as a romantic interest; in fact I was all for it – Sam is a great guy and deserves to find a girl who’ll make him happy and put up with how stubborn he is. Now that it has emerged that they aren’t going to be entering into a romantic relationship, I am fighting a losing battle for the position of Sam’s best friend. Why would he want to keep me when he could have someone who is just a vastly improved version of me? The signs are already beginning to show; Sam and I have spent very little time together just hanging out recently. He’s been busy, or there have been other more interesting people around. Sam’s always had the time for her though.

Most of my group of friends already consider her to be a friend, too, so it’s only a matter of time before I’m left at the starting post without them all, because again, who’d keep me around when she’s a prettier, funnier, more interesting and intelligent version of me with less neuroses for them to worry about? From there, it’s only a short step before they stop inviting me along to the race at all.

 

PS. I know that you’re all entitled to freedom of speech and can say whatever you want about it, but before you post about how selfish and whinghy I sound in this post, please have a little bit of sympathy for the girl who’s missing her best friend and scared of being replaced by someone far superior.

 

PPS. The main body of this post (that is, not counting the two post-scripts) totals 1000 words exactly. Random round numbers like that give me a little bit of a thrill.

Remembering what never happened


Because of the way the human brain stores and recalls memories, the strangest things can trigger a memory. Sometimes, things that have nothing to do with a particular memory can trigger you to think about it, perhaps because it is in some way tangentally conected. It is a very abstract process and one of the things that both science and psychology continue to investigate.

One of the more interesting things that I have recently learned is that you can have a memory that you can visualise so clearly that it might have happened only a few hours past, but that doesn’t mean that that memory is real. Your brain can actually ‘remember’ things that have never happened. There’s a fabulous word to describe the process – Confabulation. Ther’s an article here on Cracked that words it much better than I can.

As the Cracked article states, many people who have uncovered ‘repressed’ memories of events from their past (this most often seems to be related to some kind of early childhood abuse) have actually just made up (or confabulated) those memories. However, I don’t think that this totally debunks all of Freud’s theories. As much as I hate the majority of what I’ve ever learned about Freud, I have to acquiesce that some of his ideas were, and remain, incredibly insightful (not that all theories come from him, but he was the first major proponent of them).

I do believe that some people genuinelly repress memories, but only because it is apparently something I have done. According to my mother, the first Christmas after she and my father seperated, my paternal grandmother came up with a scheme that involved my brother and I decieving my mum and lying to her, so that we could spend Christmas day with our dad. This deciet and deception resulted in my brother and I coping in markedly different ways. He became even more easily angered and aggressive than he usually was, and I became something of a nervous wreck, especially whenever my mum began enthusing about Christmas, what she was going to be cooking, presents, our maternal gran joining us, boardgames we could play. and other things. The stress of the situation was only exacerbated by the fact that neither Lewis nor myself really wanted to lie to my mother in a way that we must have known would hurt her terribly. Eventually, my mum got the details of my grandmother’s scheme from one of us (it was a very simple plan, really – it would just involve us going to her place on Christmas eve, as already planned, but instead of going home to our mother at six o’clock, we’d just phone her and say we wouldn’t be coming back until boxing day).

Now, as horrible as that story sounds (or so I’ve been told), there is something very odd about it. I don’t remember it at all. When my mum brought it up a few years ago (I think I was asking her why the relationship between her and my paternal gran was so much more acerbic than that of other ex-mother-in-law-relationships) she was shocked that I didn’t know which ‘awful Christmas thing’ she was talking about, and I was shocked to learn that my gran could do something like that (though having had several years to mull it over, I’m aware that my shock was misplaced).. But I can’t remember it at all, even after really straining my memory to breaking point, there isn’t a single thing about that Christmas that I can remember. Incidentally, my brother can’t remember this either but he admits to being unable to remember very much at all before he was about fourteen.

The only indication of this having impacted on me in any way is the sense of dread foreboding I often get when going out somewhere. I used to get it when going to a friend’s sleepover for example, this feeling that I should have stayed home with my family instead. I get it these days if I’m leaving my friends to do something else or see someone different, that I should just be staying where it’s safe and comfortable. It makes me want to get on the very next train home, or to cut my visit short somehow. Even when I know I’ll enjoy what I’m doing.

What I’m trying to point out is that memory is an incredibly unreliable source. It’s possible to completely forget something that really should have been very important, with quite a large impact on one aspect of my family life. On the other hand, it is equally possible to ‘remember’ something that is not true at all. It’s such an odd concept, being completely able to ‘remember’ something that never happened.

They say that the human brain is the least understood thing in the world, but I think that if the brain was simple enough for us to understand it, we would be too simple to want to.

 

Added:

It occurs to me that this blog entry came about of me wanting to write about something that hasn’t made an appearence at all, so I’ll write about it here, because it is related to memory.

In the bathroom in my house, there is a cupboard on the wall that is shared between myself and my two housemates. It’s made of stained pine, I think, and must be a fairly new addition to the house, as you can still smell the wood when you are stood near it. When you open the door, the wood smell gets blown out at you, along with the scent of a housemate’s aftershave, Old Spice. There is something about the combination of these two scents washing over me that makes my knees weak. I want to bottle that smell and carry it around with me. It is simultaneously relaxing and arousing, and highly evocative.

However, I don’t know what it’s evoking. It clouds up on the edges and in the corners of my memory, tantalizing me with the promise of reliving some divine moment. Unfortunately, that memory is out of reach, blocked off, or perhaps not even real. There is just something about the combination of the woody, natural smell of the cupboard, and the intoxicationg scent of Old Spice aftershave that makes me want to go and make love with my boyfriend, or have a barbeque with my friends, or go running through a field with my old dog. I just don’t know why.

I have so much to do that I’m just going to give up and punch trees.


In my attempts to act my age, I feel like I should at the very least pretend to keep on top of stuff. There are so many things that need taking care of on a day-to-day basis, things such as laundry, washing up, cleaning and  eating to name but a few. This is TOO MANY THINGS. I have a very limited capacity to do stuff but I have unlimited scope of what I feel I should be doing.

Take for example that I feel I should not be living in my bedroom as it currently is. I’m twenty-one, officially an adult everywhere now, and yet my bedroom is still adorned with brightly coloured bits and pieces (tat, for lack of a better word) that I can’t bear to hide away in a storage space. I operate on a fairly simple basis – if I have something pretty, I should show it off. For a long time, I kept scraps of wrapping paper from a gift blu-tacked to the door of my wardrobe, because it was pretty, and my Mum had obviously taken the time to choose something visually appealing to wrap around my gifts – therefore I should show this to the world. Too pretty to throw away, but pointless keeping something like that in a box.

What this comes down to is me having a bedroom so overflowing with stuff that keeping it all tidy is a herculean task. I have so many t-shirts that they don’t all fit in their drawers if they’re all clean. Same goes for all my other kinds of clothes. So my washing basket is perpetually full, and without constant monitoring, is quick to overflow.

When I move into a new room (four moves in the last four years), I tend to fill up all the available space. It’s like my possessions take on some kind of gaseous quality and expand to fill all available space. I have a five shelf book-case (six shelves if you count the top of the thing) and I filled it without a thought. There is also a whole collection of about 100 Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books stacked on my desk because I can’t think of anywhere better to put them. Nevermind the fact that I’ve got a perfectly good shelf just there – that’s where all that stuff has gone to live, and I can’t move it! Where else would a couple of 13-year-old trophies, a kaleidoscope and a balloon pump go?

I suppose the biggest challenge is that i know I’d have to do all the sorting and reorganizing in one go, because I can’t move the books until I move that stuff, which I’d need to find a place for, which would need to be rearranged or tidied which would involve moving more stuff…I’m sure you can see where this leads.

The problem is that I can only achieve stuff if I break it down into easy, bitesize chunks. Clearing out one or two drawers might not be so bad, but the concept of doing the whole set of drawers in one go sends me into a panic that starts out so self-defeated that I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of doing anything at all (aside from maybe hyperventilating and trying not to cry)

Sadly there are some things that can’t be broken down, like making a phone call. Phone calls fill me with anxiety for multiple reasons, not least because people who know us both get my brother and me confused on the phone. Stuff that needs doing urgently is almost as bad, because there isn’t time to break it down, and often requires a lot of thought.

Needless to say, I can’t concentrate on anything when I’m in a frenzied state brought on by having stuff that needs doing, so I can’t even play a video game or read a book to keep my mind off things. So, my panic gets out of control and I can’t think about anything else, and my mind will start coming up with worse and worse potential scenarios that I just want to stop and hide under my desk like I used to before I filled the underneath of it with shoes, paper and empty carrier bags.

Dinner time


If you’ve read anything I’ve written (almost anything, anyway) then you’ll know I suffer from major clinical depression and anxiety disorder. I was first diagnosed a little while after I broke up with the man I thought was ‘the one’, but it’s something that’s been with me for years. I used to self harm when I was young but I wasn’t sure why, back then. I would pull my fingers back, or close them in doors or stamp on them until the pain was beyond tears. I thought I just wanted the attention, the reason to stay home from school for a day or two – but I didn’t think it was important to work out why. I’ve done a lot of thinking about it since.

Depression and anxiety both come with a troupe of physical symptoms for me. It’s not true for everyone, but I find them almost as debilitating as the mental aspects. I go through phases when it comes to sleep. I will go for months with barely managing four or five hours a night, shambling through the intervening days like a zombie. I try to do things as best as I can but it’s hard to read or play a game or go anywhere or even have a conversation when your eyelids are drooping, your neck can’t hold the weight of your head, and it takes ten seconds to make sense of every sentence, but no matter how sleepy you are, as soon as you lay down and close your eyes, the thoughts start picking at you, making actual restful sleep impossible. Then there are periods of time where I sleep for eight, nine, even ten hours every night, and nap during the day, and lay in bed for hours in a state of semi-conscious tiredness. This happens more often if I’m left to my own devices – people can wake you up and force you out of bed much more easily than they can make you sleep.

Alongside that, I get appetite problems, going days with barely eating anything then having days where I want to constantly eat. It brings a lot of weird thoughts up for me, does eating. Again, people can force me to eat quite easily, but forcing someone to stop eating is harder.

There are other things too. Headaches are pretty much a 50:50 chance from day-to-day, severe ones or migraines less than that but still more often than is fair. There’s also, for lack of a better word, dizziness. Imagine your mind exists on a radio frequency, or several frequencies. Then the dizziness comes and it’s like your head has been put between stations, your mind is filled with white noise, up and down are indistinguishable from one another, the ground is coming up to meet you even as you’re floating away from it.

Then my body stops doing crazy stuff for just a minute and I get a chance to see what’s going on inside my head. And I miss the sleep deprivation and the dizzy spells.

Once again it’s cyclic. Sometimes I will have phases of such intense emotion (usually sadness but sometimes guilt, fear, worthlessness, impending doom, or even anger) that it is all-consuming. There is no space left inside me to give proper thought to anything else, even the most mundane of decisions. I can do things, but no matter what I’m doing, I’m on the verge of breaking down and letting it all out. The strain of being so controlled sometimes swells up over the barriers, and I will cry, or hide, or sometimes I will cut myself, because it feels like maybe there aren’t enough other ways for all this stuff inside my head to get out, and it needs to be bled out.

There is the flip-side to that intensity, a complete opposite – which is what I live with most days.  A feeling of numbness and apathy. Almost laziness, but the feeling is coming from somewhere deeper and more vast than just the desire not to do anything. I want to do things, but my brain is caught up in loops and patterns of predefined thoughts and I just can’t break free of the circuits long enough to grab hold of something else. I want to cook for myself and my boyfriend, and wash up, and tidy the house and clean things, but it is as if some invisible, intangible force has me rooted to the spot, brimming over with so much passiveness and lethargy that I feel like a drone. I cannot make any decisions  in this state, because I simply care so little about all the outcomes that it becomes a vicious game of working out what others want me to decide.  (This applies even to decisions that only effect me, like what to do for an hour to beat the boredom that hounds me). In this state self harm becomes more of a test to see if I’ve lost all physical capacity as well as the mental ones.

There are a host of other, more minor things, like how irritable I am these days, or the nine days out of ten that having sex just seems like too much effort (no matter how good it feels, physically and emotionally, when we do it), the feeling that life is passing me by, that I am a disappointment to my boyfriend and my friends and family, the worry that I will dissolve into a heap of jelly if left alone for too long, or forced into too large a group for too long, and other things too.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that no, I don’t know if I want chips or pasta for dinner.

Downtrodden.


I’ve gone back to struggling. Every time I get into the getaway vehicle, the depression will throw out a stinger trap and stop me in my tracks. Get out of the car, go back to the lot and find a new vehicle.

I thought I was doing well recently, but it seems like I’ve just gotten better at fooling myself. Everything seems to be a short term solution. I’ve started work, as most of you know. I’m a kitchen bitch at Weatherspoons. They have me doing nine hour shifts on a regular basis. It’s very hard work because it requires you to be standing for the entire time. You also need to have hands of fireproofness in order to get up the speed and efficiency that the longer serving staff can manage. I feel useless most of the time, and I just want to quite. I don’t like the job. I’m terrified to quit though, since my friends enjoy going to that Weatherspoons quite a lot, so I’d miss out on a lot of social events because I’d not be able to show my face there. I know that if I quit, I’d be disappointing a lot of people too, people with faith in me, people who believe I can do it. I need the faith of these people.

The job is really exhausting me though, in a way I never thought it would. I leave work after each shift feeling useless and pathetic. I’m not sleeping well again, and whenever I eventually do get to sleep, it’s usually with tears on my face.

Usually, I love Darkside (not so much the music but the people and the atmosphere) but this weekend, after going to the effort of borrowing money off people to pay my entry price, I really didn’t have a good time at all. I felt self conscious about what I was wearing, dancing was wearing me out, and I was very claustrophobic. I usually love dancing, whether the dancefloor is jam-packed, or if I’m the only one on it, but being surrounded by so many moving bodies really made me feel…panicked, nauseous and afraid. I spent some time sitting at the back, sobbing into [info]theglaivemaster . I’m not coping with anything very well at the moment, and I just want to get back to normal, happy, stubborn Alice, who takes everything into her stride. I thought for a while that it would happen sometime soon, but apparently not – this ‘healing process’ seems to be taking a lot longer than I expected.

Another reason I can’t quit the job – I need the money. I need it to live. Going back to Wales and living at home isn’t something I’d cope with. I need to be near my friends and my doctor. I’m on the waiting list for CBT, but I don’t know how much longer I can wait. I’ve been feeling pretty disconnected from my family recently too, not having heard from home very much in quite a while.

All I want to do at the moment is hang out with Sam and Simon and play games and chat shit about nothing. I don’t want any responsibilities, I don’t want any stress. I just want to get better, and nothing feels like its getting me there, nothing feels like it’s helping. I want to be able to curl up at night and go to sleep easily, not to lay there convincing myself that there is something worth waking up for in the morning, because that is getting increasingly difficult.

Anyone who’s interested, next week I’m working Tuesday 12 – 9pm, Thursday 6am – 12, Friday 11 – 8pm, and Saturday 4 – 11pm. This means I will be missing both the LURPS meetings and the social :(.  I don’t know how many of those shifts I’ll get through. Doctors appointment on Tuesday, hopefully he’ll have some words of wisdom for me. (Hopefully those words won’t be ‘man up’)

At least the house isn’t constantly cold through at the moment. Though it’s unpleasant lately, since I’ve been too apathetic to do any tidying for a while so my room’s a shithole.

Also, my rats are vicious little bastards and Peter just bit me on the nose 😦

Whiskey in the Jar


So, it’s been quite a long time since I posted on here and I’ve had simultaneously a lot going on and nothing going on at all. Anyone looking upon my life since my last post would think that I’ve had very little to do and worry about, but internally it’s been a turmoil.

Most of you will be familiar with my situation, to a point. It’s a lot worse now, though. In the forging of a new relationship, I seem to have permanently damaged a very good friendship. This is something which I deeply, deeply regret – friendships are paramount to me, and the friends involved in them are the most important things in my life – they support me and drag me through these situations where I can barely stand on my own.

Knowing that through my own actions and decisions I have hurt someone important to me is awful, and has really thrown me off course. I know there is no way to reignite the friendship that’s been snuffed out – not in any depth anyway, and this is something I can never forgive myself for.

I’m in a new relationship, now – theglaivemaster and I are now involved with one another as a ‘couple’ – this is both a good thing and a less good thing. Good stuff – obviously someone to talk to, someone to sleep with (both in the actual way and the euphemistic way), someone to hang out with, to text, and to cuddle. Added to this the fact that Sam really, genuinely tries to understand what’s wrong with me, pushes me to eat when I don’t want to, and holds me when I cry at night. The less good points aren’t so obvious. There’s the aforementioned loss of a friend, the terrible fear that he’ll just up and leave me stranded and alone one day, the knowledge that someone else’s happiness and peace of mind rests with me – and I know I can’t even provide myself with any stability, how am I meant to do that for another person? Then there’s the tumult that comes with the fact that I still hopelessly miss my ex partner – this makes me incredibly guilty. It makes me feel like I’m being unfaithful to my ex for starting a new relationship, and to Sam because I still miss Matt. Matters of the heart are never easy to negotiate.

I’ve been suicidal again recently. I don’t want to kill myself – I would never wish that on those people who care for me – my family and friends, my boyfriend, and anyone else that may miss me if I were to do that. But I want out. I just want to leave this life behind. I’m sick and tired of hurting every day, waking up every morning and not having the motivation to get out of bed, and lying there every single night and not being able to fall asleep because the demons in my head are too loud, too much for me to block out.

Someone, a very wise someone (cookingwithwine) once told me how cowardly and selfish suicide is – and it’s something I wholeheartedly agree with. It just feels like the chances of me getting through this in once piece, or at all, are getting less and less. I want to shed this thick skin of depression and negative energy. This same very wise person has suggested that I take up a martial art, yoga, tai chi or something else that centers one’s chi. How useful IS this kind of thing? It doesn’t seem like it’ll work.

Another problem with that is that I feel like time and life are rushing me by – there’s no time for me to do anything. I don’t have enough time to get work done, to do archery, to spend with friends and my boyfriend, and yet in each day I achieve nothing. The thought of going shopping for food sends me into a panic – when will I fit into my busy schedule of panicking and not coping with stuff?

I’m not eating enough, and I’m not sleeping enough, and this is stressing me out (which, incidentally, only serves to continue the vicious cycle). The less I eat, the more weight I lose. This makes me worry about my health – I weighed 8st 6lbs in the middle of the summer term last year. This is barely over the minimum healthy weight of someone my height (8st 4lbs). The way my jeans are sagging around my non-existent stomach, and my belts are tightened all the way to the buckle suggests that I have lost enough weight for it to have a noticeable difference to my body – so I’m probably considered to be underweight now. But the more I worry about it, the less I feel like eating.

I’m also losing a lot of sleep lately – and this in turn stresses me out because I have a hard enough time concentrating in lectures as it is, without having to try and stay awake in them as well as taking notes and listening. I also worry terribly about my lab sessions – these are up to four hours at a time on one topic, in one room, with the same people. They are the most daunting things in my life at the moment. I don’t have the focus, the motivation, the energy, for these kind of intense labs.

This has all led me to wondering whether I’m really cut out for university level education. I dropped out last year because I hated most of my course. People told me that I was very brave for leaving something I was unhappy with and coming back to do something that I was really interested in. But what will they say if I drop out for a second time? That I’ve just wasted my time and money? That I’m weak, stupid, un-dedicated? I feel like I am all of these things. Leaving university would have so much impact on my life. I’d lose out on so many friends, experiences, hobbies, and an education. But several members of my family have told me that they will support me no matter what I do, whether I continue on here or if I drop out and go home to Wales. I just don’t know what to do.

There’s so much I want to say but can’t find the words for it at the moment – maybe more later.

This is the story so far.


So, it’s been nearly a week since term ended, and I’ve spent a fair amount of time here at theglaivemaster’s house where it is warm and I am guarenteed interesting and engaging company. I’ve been worrying about people (well, a certain person mainly, but others too.) However, I can’t help but feel I should be worrying about myself rather than anyone else at the moment, given that since term ended my general mood has slipped and I’ve had more down days than up days.

I’ve been contemplating on the subject of depression, anxiety and mental illness quite a lot recently. It’s not really something I’ve ever given much consideration to, until sixthform where I studied psychology at A level. When we covered depression and anxiety, I couldn’t help but think that they seemed awfully familiar, but more or less told myself to stop being so silly and put it out of my mind.

Then when I got to university, at the beginning of the second term last year I started seeing Matt. Matt is a depression sufferer, and I convinced him to go along to the doctors and get help. He went for councilling. But I still ignored my own problems, despite his insistence that I needed to get help. I told him he was being silly and overreacting and that I was fine.

I did however, begin to give it a bit more thought, when Matt was diagnosed, and realiseed how hard it must be for someone with no idea of these problems to understand how someone with them was feeling and what they were going through. I certainly felt that I couldn’t quite understand what Matt must have been going through (because, of course, I was just feeling a bit down and of course there was nothing actually wrong with me.)

So for ten months (or there abouts) I supported Matt through his problems and he unknowlingly held me up when I felt like falling down. And then that all went away. I’d forgotten how to deal with all of this stuff on my own and for a while I tried to ignore it again. That lasted a few weeks of me kidding myself and everyone else that I was fine and coping with everything really well. But it wasn’t long before I started to fade around the edges.

It was a couple of weeks after my life fell apart that I acknowledged what had happened and really stared to feel and miss what I’d lost – the man that I loved, the man that I cared about more than anything in the world, the man that I could see myself with in ten years time. The man that was propping me up. It was the sudden realisation that I could very easily wipe myself off the face of the planet. Everything became a potential way of hurting (or worse, killing) myself, and that was terrifying. I don’t really want to hurt myself, and I know that life is worth living, if even for the beauty of the sunset, or the view you get on a clear day when walking into town from Bowerham (you can see the lake district, it’s incredible). There are so many things that makes this life, the life of Alice Rees an interesting and wonderful thing that the idea of ending it was the thing that finally pushed me into getting some help.

So I did. I went to the doctors, and you know what? He diagnosed me with major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder and put me straight on Citalopram and into councilling. He thinks I’ve been suffering from these conditions for quite some time and that the liekly thing is that the massive trauma of losing Matt was what pushed me into the critical catagory of needing to be on suicide watch.

So I’ve been thinking a lot recently about mental illness, depression especially. I’ve really been feeling it this week and so I’ve decided to make this long post for you people to read. I know how hard it is to imagine yourself in the shoes of a problem you have no experience with, so here are some of my views on it.

Depression is an illness of loss:

* Appetite
* Sleeping pattern
* Sex drive
* Focus and concentration
* Sense of self
* Grip on reality
* Ability to choose
* Desire to partake in activities, even enjoyable ones

The list goes on. Being without these most basic things is…an awful thing. I used to be a person who enjoyed to eat. People make jokes that I’m ‘Fat Alice’ despite the fact that I’m a tiny size 8 because I eat like a horse. The fact that I’ve now lost my desire to eat is weird as hell I’ve lost weight, not something I needed to do. I miss eating all the things that I like, but I really just don’t feel like it anymore. The idea of eating makes me nauseous sometimes and it’s just distressing. Being hungry but not wanting to eat, or even worse, just not feeling hungry and having to force myself to eat so as not to pass out is just not fun.

Same goes for sleeping to a certain extent. No matter how much or how little sleep I get, I’m continually tired, so going to bed has become a chore because there is nothing to distract me from my demons when I’m just laying in bed trying and failing to fall asleep. Being able to fall asleep is never something I’ve found easy, but it’s become nigh-on impossible lately.

Losing my libido is another very strange thing for me, because (and I know my mum reads this journal, but she’s old enough to realise that I’m old enough to be saying stuff like this – and besides, it’s my blog!) I’ve always been quite an erotically charged person, someone who enjoys physical pleasures for what they are. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, there is nothing wrong with enjoying sex for the sheer physical thrill that comes from it. Losing my motivation to seek out this pleasure and relief is a disconcerting thing indeed.

There is something quite cathartic about this. I’m not enjoying thinking about all of this, but I’m liking pouring these thoughts onto your screens from my (or rather Sam’s) keyboard.

I’ve never been good at making decisions, especially when it involves other people. I’m always worried about making the ‘wrong’ decision and disappointing people. This has found its way to a whole new level lately though, so much that I can’t even decide what to fill my time with. The idea of angering or upsetting the people around me is one that doesn’t bear thinking about – the last thing I want to do is alienate the people who are helping me to get through this. Sadly, though, I feel that my indecision is just frustrating them instead. This makes me want to hide away so I don’t have to make any choices. I can’t focus on anything either, so I’m having to make choices more often than usual, which is very frustrating. I’ll pick up a book and read a few lines then loose my focus. Turn on the playstation and play one level of a game and then turn it off. Go into town and after one shop wish I was at home again. All very rubbishy.

I feel like I’ve spent the last few weeks in a kind of daze, watching myself through a two way mirror. A friend saw me walking through town the other day and said I looked like I was stoned. Maybe if I was, this would be a lot easier. That’s another thing – I can’t drink while I’m taking these tablets. I’m not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, being drunk is one way of bringing one’s emotions to the forefront when they are already feeling exposed and raw. On the other, it’s a way of loosening up and maybe having a good time for the evening. One definate benefit is it’s saving me money.

I’m really looking forward to going home and seeing my brother and the rest of my family. I’ve not seen tjem since September and there have been several times recently where I’ve found myself thinking ‘wow, I want to see my mum, she’d be able to make things better.’ I miss my cats, too, and the crazy ball of fur we call a dog. I’m worried that I’ll find it hard to leave Ferryside once I’m there though, being looked after (in a way) by my family. Even when my mum and stepdad are both at work and my brother is at his girlfriend’s house, the newsagent is never empty, thanks to the animals.

This has been a post of fairly epic proportions so I’ll leave it there for now. Kudos to anyone who knows the song in my subject line.

Update


Hey everyone

Just thought I’d keep ya’ll posted on whats going on with me lately.

Been finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning but I’ve been just about managing to get to all my lectures. It gets harder to hold it all together as the day gets on so I’ve missed a few practicals recently, since they are all in the afternoon and can stretch on for a maximum of four hours with no breaks.

I had another doctor’s appointment today, and so along I went, and had a bit of a chat with the guy, who is a bit creepy but he seemed to take me seriously this time. He thinks that as well as having Depression with a capital D, I also have some kind of anxiety issue which is exacerbating the situation (as you can imagine. So he’s prescribed me something called Citalopram, which (apparently) while generally lumped in with ‘Antidepressants’, they are often used to treat anxiety problems and are occasionally used on freaks like me who have both problems. So I start on them tomorrow. Apparently they will make it a lot worse for about a week. I might therefore be spending a lot of time hiding.

Two nosebleeds yesterday, not pleasent at all 😦 the second one lasted about 15-20 minutes and was pretty severe. Just as it started to stop, I coughed up the freshly formed blood clot (nasty nasty) and it started bleeding heavily again. I also got blood all over my clean, light coloured jeans and my clean, creamy/brown jumper. So I couldn’t go out on the ViP linear, adn people keep going on about how awesome it was 😦 so blah to them. *jealous*

Yesterday’s first nosebleed happened to coincide with the first archery shoot I’ve been to in a fair while. After failing to put the club bow together properly (it’s been an age since I used one of them things), I then failed to shoot proeprly (four misses! four ): ). Then, on collecting my arrows, I felt my nose running. Yep, blood. So i packed up the bow (with one hand) and left in shame and misery.

Then tonight at Exalted (one of the best parts of my week – thrilled it will be running another term) there were the usual jokes about my fatness (an in-joke, I might add – I’m not fat and I and everyone else knows this) which was all fine. Then we were having a discussion about Kalid (one of the characters) and how he was described at the start of the term as being big, bald and black. I mentioned this, and one of the other players (quite innocently, with no mean intent at all) said, ‘Alice. That’s racist!’ and something inside me snapped. I kind of crumpled and burst into sobs. They happened a few rtimes before I could pull myself together, but not before the other players hastily discussed stopping the fat jokes and whatnot. This is a shame because I genuinely take them in good humour, even when they dissolve into simple name calling. As long as people are calling me fat, they aren’t going to be calling me any number of things that might really hurt me for real.

So a weird few days really. Hopefully going shopping tomorrow with @Dango_Mew for a few bits and pieces such as OA social outfits, and Yellow Sign costume. Then having a nice night in with @TheGlaiveMaster, going to have Chinese food and watch my favourite film, Silence of the Lambs and its sequal, Hannibal.

Something that @Dango_Mew mentioned to me today seems like it might be a good idea. Keeping a ‘Happiness Scrapbook’ of pictures, thoughts and other things that make you happy, which you can then look back at when having a Bad Moment like I had tonight. Seems like a good idea, but I feel like I’d struggle to fill it at the moment. Most of the happy stuff in my recent past involves someone who is no longer willing to be a part of my life. Thinking about this makes me sad. So yeah, what I’d put in it at the moment is an unknown concept. It seems like my mind wants to put a bad spin on even cheery things.

anyway, enough about me, let’s talk about you for a minute.
Enough about you, let’s talk about life for a while.
The conflicts, the craziness and the sound of pretenses.
Falling all around…. all around.