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.

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.