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.

My nights of how-I-feel-indecision


Every night, I fall asleep feeling two things with equal intensity. I feel like the next day is going to be the end of the world as I am currently aware of it. I feel like waking up will be futile because there will be no change.

I fall asleep feeling as though the morning will find me a changed woman with all the energy and motivation I need to do all the things I haven’t done yet. My to-do list is in a constant state of growth. So many things that need doing, so little capacity for achievement. But sometimes, I fall asleep contentedly, certain in my knowledge that the next day will see me ticking things off the list with a ferocity I haven’t had since sixth form.

I fall asleep charged with terror because after sleep comes the next day, and I’m a day further away from getting anything done. I am overwhelmed, knowing with absolute certainty that tomorrow will find me regressed ever so slightly further into my own personal hell. One day I will wake up and I’ll be living with my parents again, with no freedom or choice, but no pressure. My head is filled with a montage of things that haven’t happened yet, but will eventually – I see myself so vividly as a parent, an awful one; the kind who can’t maintain any continuity for my children. They will think of their father as the star parent who cooks and cleans and teaches them how to ride their first bikes. My Mum is quite distant, they’ll say – they won’t want to call me useless to other people but it will be what they are thinking.

Every night, I know that a thousand tomorrows are possible.

Every night, I know that the tomorrow I will wake up to will be the last day of my life. It will also be the first day of the rest of my life.

Whichever way it goes, as they say, it’s the end of the world as I know it. The only question is how I feel, ‘cos I ain’t fine.

Reposting from tumblr now I’ve got my blogging sorted.


Currently, all I’m doing is trying. The most monumental thing I’ve actually achieved recently is finishing Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door. I’m trying to learn to draw. I’m trying to complete the ECDL (European Computer Driving License). I’m trying to declutter and tidy up my bedroom. I’m trying to sort my finances out. I’m trying to regain my old figure. I’m trying to be a thoughtful, clean and considerate housemate, an excellent friend and a perfect girlfriend. I’m trying to maintain my mediocre writing skills, and even to improve them. I’m trying to keep up on current affairs. I’m trying to lose the black dog. I’m trying to remember everything else I’m trying to do in order to list them here.

That’s a lot of things to try and do every day.

Consequently, days like today happen. I had a very small number of things that were vital for me to do this morning – an appointment to attend being the cruicial one. However, after waking up, my brain got stuck in the wrong gear, and started to focus on the fact that today, I am unlikely to achieve anything on my very long list. I began thinking about how little energy I have and how much of that it takes to walk to town and take an ECDL exam, then to meet my boyfriend and make him smile.

The panic of whether or not I’ll ever achieve anything set in. My last real achievement was in 2008, passing my A-Levels and getting into Lancaster University. Since then, my life has been strewn with failures at every step.

So, instead of getting out of bed and making sure that my ECDL isn’t another one of those failures, I spent two and a half hours reading back on the twitter feed on my phone.

I’m trying to stop doing things like that. Looks like I need to try harder.

I’ve lost the thread of this post. I’m not sure where I was going with it anymore.

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.

Cornered Animals Bite.


I don’t like seeing people hurt, especially my friends. I will go out of my way to attempt to improve the lives of those who I care about. If someone is sad, I will try and make them happy. If someone is scared, I will try and calm them. It’s in my nature to help the people around me.

But what do you do when the people you’re trying to help aren’t making any effort themselves? People refusing to seek help from the right people, or not taking their meds or behaving in a self destructive manner. I am starting to lose my faith in my abilities to help, because those that I seek to aid often get nothing from it.

Time to sound a little bit selfish here, too. People know how I am at the moment. People know I’m under stress and I’m sad. But I keep trying my best to help anyone who needs it. Where do I draw the line, though, when people don’t seem to be getting anything from my help, and are causing me stress and upset in the process, and are doing nothing to help me.

I want to help people, but at the same time, I want to get better, and in order for that to happen I need people to help me. ‘When we can’t run, we walk. When we can’t walk, we find someone to carry us.’ Got news for ya, folks. I keep falling.

I want to get better so I stop feeling selfish like this. I want to go back to having nearly limitless patience with people and being able to do whatever my friends need from me, whenever. I want to help there to be less sadness in the world, and though it feels selfish, the first bit of sadness I want to rid the world of is my own.

On another, more cheerful note, I had a good time at ‘s birthday celebrations tonight.

Also, I owe  a hell of a lot for the support he’s been providing me with recently. Same goes for Simon. Thanks guys, you’re the best. Oh, ok, and you. And you. Yeah, you’re all the best.

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 😦

Ugh.


Life is shit. Work is shit. Everything is shit. This is a Bad Evening tm.

Living is easy with eyes closed


So, hope. It’s a bitch. This may seem like a strange statement but if I didn’t have hope, life would be easy. I could lay down and give up, and there’d be nothing there to stop me. As it is, there is something stopping me. That annoying little voice in the back of my head telling me that one day, my life will be as I want it. One day I will have the life I want.

But it seems sometimes like I’ll never get there. I’ll never meet the guy I’m supposed to be with, I’ll never get the job that’ll make me happy. I’ll never complete a degree. I’ll never make it. I really feel like it’s inconceivable for me to ever achieve any of the things that I want out of life. But I can’t stop hoping for them to happen. I even have short term hopes.

It’s really very frustrating. I hope so much that I’ll eventually get all the things that I believe will make my life good – a man who makes me smile, a job that is interesting and friends who love me – but I do not have a single ounce of belief that it’ll ever happen. I hope but don’t believe.

Do you see the difference, Live Journal? And can you tell me what will help?