21:28 – Saying goodbye to my 20’s

27 Oct

I apologise in advance for this self pity filled post. For some reason I am feeling quite emotional and want to write it all down. I’m sitting here looking at the clock and thinking in a few hours that’s it, I’m going to be 30 and whilst I hate the thought of getting older, I can deal with it. What’s making me emotional is thinking about my 20’s.

I turned 20 in 2001 and at that point lived in London with my boyfriend of that time. I was very much in love but this was the year they discovered I had cervical CIN 3 (carcinoma-in-situ) and when I first realised my fertility in later years may well be affected.

In 2002 aged 21 I was probably at my lowest point when it came to self confidence. I had gained a massive amount of weight, my relationship was getting very rocky and I thought going to uni would boost my confidence. I applied (and was accepted onto a BSc Nursing course) I dropped out after a few months. I got a job and lost it about 6 months later because of my lack of attendance. This is when the depression and anxiety really started to affect my life.

In 2003-2004 aged 22/23 my relationship became very volatile, we loved each other and hated each other at the same time. I did nothing. He would spend all day at work and I wouldn’t even get out of bed. I began self harming again. I went to see the doctor and was prescribed Venlafaxine. I hated it, it made me feel sick and spaced out so I stopped taking it. I was desperate to escape, escaping that time was when I realised I could run but I couldn’t escape from my head. I finally split from the guy I was with and moved back to Scotland. I stayed with my parents for a while and began drinking heavily. I was also smoking a fair bit of cannabis. I was extremely depressed and wouldn’t get out of bed. After about 4 months of this, my mother dragged me to the doctors and I was put onto anti depressants. I remember the first one was Sertraline and it worked great for me but I was on the max dose within a matter of weeks. I made my first proper suicide attempt that year and ended up in the psych hospital for the first time. I was only in for a week and then was asked to leave because I went out and got drunk.

In late 2004, early 2005 aged 23/24 life started to look positive. Whilst I was on a whole load of anti depressants (I think I tried just about every one in the book with only Sertraline and Trazadone working for any period of time) I stopped drinking and started dieting. I lost a LOT of weight and dropped from a size 20 to a size 10. I met a guy and he moved in with me. We were very much in love for a while but within a year it was over. Within a matter of weeks of splitting up from him I met my ex-fiancé in early 2006. The only bad thing going on was I was developing agoraphobia and within a short space of time it did become quite debilitating.

2006 aged 24/25 life was amazing. I looked good, felt good, was with the man I thought was my soul-mate, was in my own flat and things just couldn’t get better. But they did. Around the September time of 2006 I found out I was pregnant. It was the icing on the cake. I got engaged on the day of my first scan and couldn’t believe I had fallen pregnant after being in the relationship with the guy in London for so long and never using contraception. They had told me I might have fertility problems. I’d proved them wrong! I was going to be a Mummy!

2007 aged 25/26 and the year started off well. We had the 20 week scan at the very beginning of February 2007 and discovered we were having a baby boy. We decided for definite on a name and ordered the perfect Silver Cross pram. Two weeks later I went into premature labour, suffered a 75% placental abruption in combination with a very incompetent cervix (that I didn’t know I had) and delivered my angel after a long and painful labour, born asleep. I had to arrange a funeral for my baby, have him blessed, reluctantly agree to a post-mortem, my body played cruel jokes on me like making me produce milk for a baby I didn’t have. I fell apart completely and my ex-fiancé was my rock. He was the only one who really understood. But before long our relationship started to suffer. He blamed my agoraphobia. I blamed my pain. I was asked to have tests done on my cervix and discovered how incompetent it was and the many hurdles I would need to climb if I ever attempted to get pregnant again. To try and focus on something positive, we booked our wedding for August 2008.

In 2008 I was back on anti-depressants and working with a CPN (again) to try and overcome my agoraphobia. What I really needed was some bereavement counselling or support. It was the only thing that revolved round and round in my head. But I knew my relationship was beginning to suffer and he blamed my agoraphobia. I was boring, I never went anywhere, I wasn’t working, I had too much time to think and get more and more depressed. Regardless, we carried on with wedding plans, I bought my dress, we booked the photographer, we renovated his flat and put it up for sale, we went and looked at houses, I got a job and things started to look up again. By the June I think I just knew we weren’t going to go through with the wedding, something felt very unstable and marriage was not the right thing at that time. We rebooked for April 2009. In September 2008 he said he wanted to split up with me and cancel the wedding. He swore on the little one’s memory that there was no one else involved, it just wasn’t working out. I held my head high with dignity, walked away from him still with my head held high, came home and crumbled. A few weeks later he came to my house drunk and told me he couldn’t live with his conscience any longer – he’d been having an affair for at least a month. We split up and stayed apart September, October, November and then in December he wanted to give things another shot. He asked if we could get back together. Why? I was agoraphobic and so bad to be around that he’d cheated on me and broke my heart. But I was stupid and took him back. I asked my family to please be accepting of him for Christmas Day at least, to give him a second chance as I was doing.

In February 2009 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I also lost my job due to my extreme mood changes. I was either too manic I forgot I even had a job or so depressed I couldn’t even brush my teeth let alone work a ten hour shift. But I tried to think of the positives, we had found a house we were going to put an offer in for, we had our wedding very soon, it was the little one’s anniversary on the 11th and we held each other close and released a balloon in his memory. Three days later it was Valentines Day on the 14th. I got my ex-fiancé a lovely big card, teddy bear and some little silly things. He got me nothing. A few days after that I caught him in bed with his manager from work. And I’d always thought she was such a nice woman. The wedding was cancelled. We split for good. All I thought about was suicide, all I did was self harm. At the end of 2009 I started writing this blog.

In 2010 I finally got a proper care team and found a medication that was working for me – quetiapine (seroquel) – I was regularly seeing a social worker, I had a psychologist and psychiatrist and GP who I worked quite close with. But I began to isolate myself away from everyone, the only person I really saw was my social worker. I had also met a new best friend and spent all my time with her. Unfortunately her BPD clashed too much with my Bipolar and it all ended in disaster. I began hearing voices again to the extent that they ruled my life. At the end of 2010 I was detained under the mental health act for the first time. 72 hours, then a 28 day one, got out for Christmas and was back in on New Year’s Day and onto a second 28 day section. That was how 2011 started.

2011 so far…. I was in the psychiatric hospital until the end of February. I stabilised a bit over the Spring months, I started going back downhill over the Summer months, I was re-admitted to the psychiatric hospital just a month or so ago where I had two 2 week stays. And now here we are in October, I am 30 tomorrow and my 20’s have just been one big disaster. I face 30 with labels of possibly bipolar possibly schizophrenic – possibly both – schizoaffective. I am currently still in psychosis apparently. I take anti-psychotics, mood stabilisers, anxiety medication and anti depressants. I still self harm although nowhere near as often as last year.

Around the age of 24-25 was the only year things were good. I was slim, happy and in love. I thought I was going to be a Mummy and marry my soul-mate. Now I’m fat again, live with voices in my head all the time, have been single for over 2 years and really not very stable. My 20’s have been a disaster and right now I have absolutely nothing happening in my life that makes me believe that my 30’s will be any better. The only good things that could come of it are that I could possibly become a volunteer for the crisis centre, I could possibly start EMDR therapy, I could possibly find a combination of medication that actually did work, maybe I could even start a new relationship.

It’s taken me an hour to write this. God, two very long posts in one day. I feel a little better now I have gotten it all out. I’m just scared that this is it now, this is my life and nothing will ever change for the better and actually last. Everything that’s ever been good has gone wrong – if I had some self confidence I would maybe feel strong enough to say ‘don’t I deserve some happiness?!’ but right now the voices just laugh and say no. They tell me I’m stupid, fat, ugly, disgusting, I have to keep scarring my body, no one will want me, even if I found someone as soon as they saw my body they would run off in disgust.

Two and a half hours til midnight. This better be a good birthday I really need a happy weekend. It would be so good to say goodbye to nine shit years out of ten and actually make this next year some sort of turning point in my life.


7 Responses to “21:28 – Saying goodbye to my 20’s”

  1. Pandora October 28, 2011 at 01:43 #

    I’m just over two years short of it, but I’m positively dreading my thirties too – though, at the same time, my twenties have been so fucking shit that I’ll be glad to see the back of them.

    I can’t entirely understand how you feel, what with never having had and lost a child, but I get some of it. But through all the bad, there are positives, babes. I know you lost your lovely baby before he even had a chance to live, and I positively despise the universe for doing that to you. But you’ve proven you can be in a loving, committed relationship (it was your ex that fucked it up, not you); that you can work (it was your then-instability that ended your jobs, not you as a person); that you’re trying your fucking hardest to beat the mentalism; that you can see a project (ie. this blog) through; that you can write (and you can write. I always read and am engaged by your posts, and don’t forget your well deserved TWIM award!).

    I know that all that probably seems small in comparison to all the shit you’ve had thrown to you in the last decade, but I want you to know that, to many people (including but not limited to us mentals out here in the ether), your life really does have much meaning and value.

    I hope you do have a lovely birthday. I’ll be having a pint for you tomorrow evening (or tonight, whatever it is) 🙂

    Thinking of you, lovely.

    Take care

    Pan ❤ xxx

  2. Clarissa October 28, 2011 at 04:09 #

    No self pity, but your classic brutal honesty. Can see why you need emdr: you are soooooo hard on yourself!

    Still feisty, kick arse writing, and after ALL that! You’re no limp lettuce. Gawd. I’m staggered you think you seem to be. None of it is your fault!

    You are a survivor of unimaginable adversity. Take that, and most people would be proud of themselves – and so should you be. You are going in the right direction now. Stay on meds, stay level and speak to quack if unsafe. Get that emdr place and your voluntary work placement. Graft and grit create pearls in every oyster: you’ve got a beautiful pearl of a soul in you that is priceless to so many with whom you share your story. But try to value YOU. You are pretty, kind, clever, deep, observant, emotional… Empathic… What’s not to like?

    Hold mirror up, “i actually like you, and boo to anyone who says different (esp. the voices).

    X C

  3. Clarissa October 28, 2011 at 04:14 #

    Eek – I salute Pan: and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you: will send a big cheers to you and big bear hugs.


  4. The Quiet Borderline October 28, 2011 at 09:44 #

    You have been through some real hard times for sure. I salute you for getting through them. You are stronger than you realise! Happy birthday and my wish to you is that you have much brighter days ahead.

    Take care. Xx

    The Quiet Borderline

  5. Ian October 28, 2011 at 10:53 #

    Yes I agree with all of the above and to top it all off your my friend, how lucky we are to have you!

    Big birthday wishes and an ‘air’ hug too. xx

  6. Wayne Brown November 1, 2011 at 03:05 #

    I can so relate to your post. Sometimes with bipolar and anxiety, it is hard to function. In fact, I struggle to function every day.

    I want a future for my family, but I am scared it is too late. I am 42. You have 12 years until you catch up with me. Start from where you are and grow as a person. By the time you get to my 42 years, you’ll be a super-star!

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