It’s New Year’s Eve again, the last day of another long and challenging year, one which started on a bad note in January and is ending on a bad note as well. I have a feeling this may turn into a long ramble, I’ve got a lot of things to say in my last blog post of 2012.
So usually we go out on New Year’s Eve but this year my best friend is just going to a house party at another friend’s house (to which I was invited but politely declined) and so I am all on my own. It doesn’t have to be this way, I have just been on Facebook and had a couple of people ask me if I was going out tonight, if I really wanted to I could text another girl I’m friendly with and make arrangements to go out with her… but I know I will end up staying in all alone all night. Miserable and depressed. Still struggling to come to terms with the stupidity I referred to in my last post (and no, I still can’t write about it either)…
This might be a silly thing to say but I feel really let down by the CMHT (Community Mental Health Team) – they knew that Christmas was one of the hardest days of the year for me to get through, new CPN had said we would have an appointment on Christmas Eve and then a following one New Year’s Eve (today) so I had support right before what can be very triggering days for me. But we didn’t even get the appointment the week before Christmas Eve because I got a phone call to say new CPN was off sick but someone would be in touch. That was on the Monday and by the Friday nobody had got in touch. Christmas eve came and went with no appointment… no support. Then I got a letter on Saturday morning from new CPN offering me a next appointment with her on the 7th of January. So that is going to be exactly 4 weeks since I last had any support when I next see her. And the reason I said this all may sound silly is because obviously if I need help I have to ask for it, but new CPN knew, she fucking knew how much I struggle to cope at this time of year and whilst she couldn’t avoid being ill she was obviously back in the CMHT building at some point to type up the letter for the appointment for the 7th of Jan. So when she was writing that letter she knew I was sitting with no support, would it have been that much trouble to have maybe given me a little phone call and just told me she was back and sending me a new appointment out and maybe have asked if I was coping OK. But like I say… I guess if I want to try and get any sort of support I am supposed to phone and tell them so it must be silly that I’m sitting here feeling forgotten about and completely alone with my string of crazy thoughts.
Tomorrow (New Year’s Day) I will again be alone all day. My Mum is working late, my best friend is going to her parents for the day, so it will just be me, myself and I, probably sitting here feeling equally as alone in 24 hours time as what I do right now. It would appear that this makes me feel rather sad as I’m struggling to see out of the little pool of tears that are gathering up in my eyes.
Tomorrow a new year begins where I am still in the mindset of wanting to hurt myself, where every day I still feel like I’m stuck in this pressure cooker and with each day that passes where I don’t act on the thoughts I don’t feel proud of myself or like I have achieved anything… Instead I know that when that time comes where the lid blows off the pressure cooker it is going to result in some real damage to myself. I am so scared of that moment coming because I will be completely out of control and yet at the same time I wish it would just hurry up and hit me, make me do it and make it be over with.
My best friend asked me a couple of days ago if I was proud of myself for not “being in that place” of self harming and hospital admissions for so long. I couldn’t explain to her that she couldn’t be more wrong, I might not have acted on the thoughts, but the walls around me are crumbling and starting to fall and the more they fall the more exposed and alone I am as I hide behind them. I hate to say it and for a number of months now I’ve tried to avoid saying it, but I am well and truly in the the throes of Bipolar depression right now. And I feel exhausted from the minute I open my eyes to the minute I go to sleep, the smallest of tasks seem enormous, nothing feels as though it really has a point to it. I am about to enter a new year in pretty much the same place I was a year ago I’m just doing much much better at hiding it from people. I feel as though I can’t admit how low my mood is when people (my parents) have gone out of their way to try and make my flat look like a home again and this just proves how much of a bad person I am because they did all that for me and the whole time when they genuinely believed I was happier it was all fake smiles deep down. They think I’m coping better and after all they have done for me it’s my job to make sure they continue to think that.
If I’m honest with myself this episode of depression really kicked off just before my birthday, so around mid October. It’s been slowly getting worse and worse as the weeks have gone by. That is the really horrible part about mood disorders and similar conditions, the length of the depressive (or manic) episodes seem to go on forever. If I look at my calender it tells me I’ve been in this current depressive episode for about ten or eleven weeks now, almost three months of feeling like shit every time I wake up and realise I’m still here. And usually when a couple of months have passed of feeling so low a “crisis” would have happened by now. I’ve experienced every single one of my early warning signs as detailed in my crisis plan and yet somehow I’ve avoided the crisis being seen by other people (mainly by hiding away as much as possible). It’s like a silent crisis that is killing me on the inside, I know it’s there but nobody else does and what really worries me now is that if there is no admission from me that things are very bad or no actions by me to show things are really bad then the actual crisis part will go by unnoticed… and that means entering that place again that is past the point of a “crisis” and a whole new level of despair that is a truly terrifying place to experience.
Just like last ‘new year’ and the one before that and before that I enter a new year still mental, still single, still fat and disgusting and deserving of badness. I enter another year and know it’s a matter of weeks until my little angel’s 6th anniversary in Heaven. They said it got “easier with time”… they really need to think of a more honest expression because that one is a massive lie. It hurts more and more with every day, every week, every month and every year that passes.
What is it that keeps us going when inside our heads we are hearing (for the millionth time) that this is the way life is always going to be, when something in our mind is shouting at us that nothing is ever going to change, that this is the future and this is the place we are going to be stuck in forever? What keeps us going? And even if we act on it and make an attempt to end our lives, many of us get help (even if it really is at the very last second)… something inside us gets scared – for me it is usually the fear of what the process of death will actually be like, the fear of the unknown – and the sad reality for me and I’m sure for many others is that even though every day of being alive hurts like hell it is a hell we have become so overly familiar with that we almost know it inside out. Plus it is a hell that people around us generally witness and as a result of that they try and offer us messages of hope, promises that things won’t always be this way, anything they can say to make us hang on for another day (week, month, year). And so, with each “crisis” I have had, people have become aware of it and let me break down into little bits and then they help me put the bits back together again and give me a final push back onto my feet until the next crisis happens.
But ultimately what happens is you end up feeling as though you are living for those people who say they have “faith in you” who “believe in you” who “promise” that “things are going to get better” that maybe just trying “one more medication” or “a different type of therapy” will finally give me permanent freedom from all of this. And right now, I very much feel as though I’m living for others, I know I have passed the point of believing there is any point in living for me (ungrateful stupid bitch that I am), I don’t even know if you could class this as ‘living’… it feels much more like I’m just functioning on some sort of auto-pilot and trapped in my own never ending version of Groundhog Day.
The thing is that when I have experienced extreme low’s before I have acted upon them a few times. I know what will happen now if I shovel a few handfuls of tablets down my throat just to ‘make it all stop’ and I know what will happen if I take enough tablets to kill me. And I remember how terrifying it was in that moment where I wanted my life to be over so very badly, where I could not handle another day of being alive, where I completely lost control and swallowed a ridiculous number of tablets. And I remember that moment soon after where I felt extremely physically unwell, very dizzy, nauseas, holding onto the walls to keep me upright and just knowing that if I let myself lay down and close my eyes then there would be a very good chance I wouldn’t wake back up. And that actually scared the hell out of me that time as I frantically hit 999 and begged for an ambulance and cried to the operator that I was getting dizzier and dizzier but couldn’t sit down because I knew that would be it, game over. So I slumped against the wall trying to stay with the woman on the phone, praying that the main door buzzer would start beeping any second so I could let them in and then stop fighting and just let my body do what it had to do. Pretty much everything from then through to the next day passed in a blur but I will never ever forget that moment of lying in A&E and hearing the male nurse shouting that my blood pressure was crashing, hearing the numbers and thinking ‘I might actually die here’ and suddenly being terrified that they wouldn’t be able to save me because it’s such a small hospital here. I truly truly thought that night was going to be my last, when you hear nurses and doctors all panicking and losing their cool around you it is a very scary experience.
So what is the point to all this rambling? I think it was my own way of trying to make sense of why I’m still here. My way of frantically trying to remind myself that there is at least one place that’s scarier than here and that’s lying in A&E having knuckles pressed hard against your collar bone as they shout at you to open your eyes and you actually can’t or when you hear them talking about needing a helicopter to get me to the main hospital asap or hearing the numbers of your blood pressure and knowing those numbers are way too low… knowing that you are now totally dependent on these people saving your life, that very same life that you so desperately wanted to end.
Having bipolar disorder has taken me to some crazy places within my own mind. The mood cycles and their unpredictability of when they will come and how long they will last for are crippling at times, but after the disaster has always come a little hint of stability if even only for a couple of weeks before a new ‘episode’ starts and you go through the whole cycle again. This time I genuinely am trying to avert disaster and find absolutely anything at all to cling onto, anything that will help this to pass and allow me to feel like I’m coping for a little while longer. Because as scary as this is the thought of lying back in that A&E department relying on people to save you or waking up to find myself in the psychiatric hospital again or even just the feeling of being a little bit judged by turning up needing sewn back together after cutting too deeply are all even more scary tonight than just sticking with the familiarity of this current episode, my ongoing version of mental hell.