Borderline personality disorder?

I’ve been delving into my mental health recently, a lot of people have called me crazy for obsessing over it, but, the reality is, my mental health quite literally controls every aspect of my life. How can I not obsess over it?

I have always suspected that I didn’t just have manic depression and anxiety, I have always thought that there could be more, something else entirely maybe. It wasn’t until I was talking to a friend online about Borderline Personality Disorder did I even think to look into it, to see what it was all about. I am not going to lie, I have been a mental health snob, especially when I was first diagnosed when I was 14, I thought depression was the worst thing in the world and how could I function, no one could possibly be in a worse position than me. As I’ve grown older, I’ve grown wiser, I’ve educated myself, of course everyones mental health is different, it will always be a personal journey, no two people will ever be the same.

I delved deep into the world of BPD, and it is a scary world, as I was looking over symptoms and people’s personal stories I found myself relating much more to them than to other people suffering with just depression or anxiety. I have always struggled with personal relationships, they have always been messy, toxic, I have always found myself relating my self worth to whether or not I am liked or loved by the person I am with. I always assumed this was just a confidence issue I had, and I’ve worked tirelessly over the last few years to make sure I don’t fall into that trap again. So far, I’ve been okay, I haven’t had any toxic relationships, but the down side is that I haven’t actually had any relationships in five years. I’ve all but cut myself off from everyone who isn’t necessary to my life.

I struggle with my anger and my rage, I had always been told I had anger issues, I’ve always known I have issues in dealing with my anger, I lash out, I get violent, and then I hate myself, it’s a vicious cycle that never ends. I try to avoid situations that will trigger any anger, sometimes it can’t be helped and I quite literally wake up full of rage and I can’t control it.

There is a hundred more reasons why I want to delve deeper into understanding my mental health, I don’t want to inflict on my son what was inflicted on me as a child, by family members, not that it could be helped. There was never any intended actions towards us, we all know that someone who is having a breakdown isn’t in full control of their actions, especially when not on medication. I don’t place any blame on anyone, I just don’t want to be in the position where I am doing it to my own child when I know full well that I can try to reduce any incidents that my son witnesses by taking the right medication. Whilst my current medication works very well for my anxiety, it isn’t having any effects on the other symptoms I am currently suffering with.

I am in the middle of the biggest fight I will ever have, and it is with my own brain, my own mind. I will win, I will not let myself become a shell of who I once was.

Why “13 Reasons Why” was needed, now more than ever.

I know how much I loved 13 reasons why, not just because of the story telling, the incredible acting, and the emotion it ripped from everyone who watched it. But because, as a suicide survivor, it bought back all those raw emotions I have taken years to work through, and whilst it made ma sad for a short amount of time, it made me realise all the things I am thankful for, I have a child, I have a stable relationship with my family, I have ambitions and goals, finally. I have a life I enjoy living for the most part, if I had succeeded in taking my own life when I was 17, none of this would have happened, I wouldn’t have known the pure, innocent love of a child. I wouldn’t have mended relationships with my parents.

I’m not saying in any way, shape or form, that this was a story of hope, because it’s not. It is raw, unadulterated pain at it’s finest. In the age of social media, where one photo, one comment, one video can literally destroy lives in a matter of seconds, we needed to hear Hannah Baker’s story, we needed to see her spiral, we needed to show the children of the next generation, who have the entire world sitting in the palm of their hands, that words have consequences, we all grew up with the rhyme “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”, it’s wrong, so very wrong, physical wounds heal; wounds left from words, words that you hear day in day out, words you repeat to yourself as you look in the mirror, they never go away, you can’t stick a plaster over them, kiss them and hope they don’t leave a scar, because they do, they leave scars that will stay with a person forever, they will haunt them. That is exactly what we saw in Hannah’s story.

I, like many others, binge watched 13 reasons why, not because I wanted to get to end, but because I knew I was going to hurt, it was going to hurt to watch her story unfold right before my eyes and I was going to know exactly how she was feeling, everything I felt whilst at school, all the pain, the depression, the anger, the rage, the sadness, the emptiness, the nothingness. I needed to feel it all at once, I couldn’t allow myself to drag it out over a week, I couldn’t allow myself to be that raw and open for longer than needed. Once it was over, I cried for a while, I rang my mum and told her I loved her and told her I was glad I didn’t take my own life all those years ago. I opened up about the many attempts I’d made to take my own life, we both cried for a while. There’s no longer this secret between us, she now knows that when I make self deprecating jokes, I don’t always mean it, because I’m talking about it, she knows I won’t attempt to take my life again. That, to me is important.

Whilst we all got caught up in Hannah’s story telling, Clay chasing down his own demons, Tony watching from afar, afraid he’ll be too late and find him like Hannah, we watched as Jessica’s life unravelled, we watched as Justin and Zach seemed to be protecting a rapist, as Courtney tried to protect her image by throwing Hannah under the bus, we saw Alex hate everything he had done, everything everyone else had done, yet we didn’t notice, that he too, wanted to take his own life. The only person, apart from Clay who showed any sign of remorse, in a story all about suicide and signs to look out for we all somehow missed it.

Yes, 13 reasons why was uncomfortable to watch, and so it should be, rape, mental illness, suicide are all things we should stop romanticising, they are all messy, raw, heartbreaking issues that we sugar coat in our everyday lives. These are all topics we all need to be speaking about, continuously, slut shaming, name calling, sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, are all ugly words, uncomfortable words, conversations we try to avoid having because if we speak out we’re anti-men, we’re “feminazis” but if we don’t speak out, everyone tells us we could have done more, we should have done more, “only if we had known” we all know, we all know someone it has happened too, we all know someone who may have believed a story a friend has told them about a classmate without ever talking to the person, we are all guilty of never speaking against the status quo. Some of us don’t care, some of us don’t care enough.

High school sucks, there is no doubt about that, but at a time when everyone is struggling, with self esteem issues, not fitting in, struggling to keep up academically, when everyone has access to social media, shouldn’t we be held responsible for the things we post, the things we share, shouldn’t we be teaching our children that once you post something online it is there forever, but most of all shouldn’t we all take a few seconds out of our day just to say hello to the person next to us, acknowledge the quiet kid, the shy kid, the kid that doesn’t quite fit in. You never know what’s going on in a persons head, you, you might just save a life.

I’ve been ill.

Both mentally and physically. It has taken a lot out of me. 

I’ve been trying to get my life back on track, I’ve been working on my mind extensively and it appears to have worked. 

Now it’s time to tackle my body. I’m wanting to work hard it’s just difficult when your mind isn’t truly in it. Being depressed is awful, you have no focus, no motivation and everything is frustrating. 

I am going to try hard to get back into writing the blog. 
Please be patient with me. 

Inviting those who hurt me back into my life;

Is another way of self-harming without leaving any physical marks.

It hurts just as much.

I cry just as hard.

But I can’t bring that razor to my wrist.

So I do the next best thing.

I tell you I love you even though I know you don’t feel the same.

I tell you I need you even though I know you’re with someone else.

I remember all the times we watched the sunrise, another 24 hours we hadn’t slept.

I remember those times we were truly happy.

Now look at us, neither of us are happy, neither of us will change our bad habits.

We always come back to each other, tear each other down and then leave.

The wounds cut deep, but never leave a scar.

Our hearts hurt just as much, but we never heal.

We are poison.

We are toxic.

But we will never change.

Some days are bad days, some days are very bad days. 

I have to write his down because if I don’t I feel like I’m going to fall down the rabbit hole of darkness and lay awake at 3am questioning every choice I’ve ever made. 

I am feeling suicidal, I am feeling like everyone would be better off without me. I’m feeling like the world is stacked against me and I’m tired of fighting for own space. I’m tired of being tired. 

I know I won’t do anything, but it doesn’t stop the thoughts running through my head, I’ve been tempted to self harm, I don’t have anything in my house that I can use. I make damn sure of that. I haven’t harmed myself in years, but I sill have to make sure I don’t make it easy for myself. I’m in the middle of a battle with my mind, I’m tying so hard to pull myself up and not let the darkness take over. 

It’s a never ending cycle, but I will keep fighting, I won’t let it win. I will look back on this time and be thankful I fought so hard. 

It gets better. 

If I had been told 7 years ago that, today, I would be sat in my own home, with my child, feeling like the coming year is going to be the best yet. I would have told you that you were insane. 

If I had been told that at 25 I would be happy with how my life was going, I would have laughed. 

If you had told me 8 years ago that I would no longer be cutting myself, that I would no longer want to die. I would have told you that was ridiculous. 

If you had told me that at 25 I would excited for the future. I wouldn’t have believed you. 

Yet, here I am. The end of 2016 is just days away, and I am excited for the future. I am sitting here with my child, playing games. Talking about all the things we have planned for 2017, all the things we want to do in the next few years. I never thought this would be possible, I never thought I would be happy with my life. 

I am living proof it gets better, if I can be here today telling you that in just a few years your life can be completely different, you should believe it. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week or next month, but give it some time. Life does get better. I promise you that. 

Taking responsibility for your actions, even when your mental health is bad.

I don’t think people talk about this enough, possibly because people still feel awkward talking about how people behave when their mental illness is bad, or the person is not in a good place. However, it needs to be said, just because your mental illness is in a bad way doesn’t give you the right to talk to people, or treat people poorly. You still have to be accountable for your actions, everything you do and say has consequences, it doesn’t make your feelings any less valid. You have every right to feel however you may be feeling, it does mean that you can’t talk to people in a way that is offensive, abusive, manipulative or rude. It doesn’t give you the right to lash out just because you’re having a bad day. And it means that if you do say or do something that hurts somebody else, it means standing up, taking responsibility and apologising for your behaviour. Too many people with mental health issues think that because they have depression, PTSD, anxiety, BPD, bipolar, etc they are allowed to treat people poorly because they “don’t understand” or don’t feel the way they do. This is coming from personal experience, and knowing people who to this day still don’t take responsibility for the way they treat others.

I used to be the kind of person that if I was having a bad day, I would be rude, offensive, abusive and expect others to put up with it because I was depressed. I used to tell them they didn’t understand what it was like, they didn’t know what I was going through, they didn’t know how I felt etc, when in reality, they could see me spiraling. I would never apologise for the horrible things I would say and do and expect people to also brush it under the carpet and hope they would just blame my illness. Being ill doesn’t mean you get to be a bully. I have, in recent years apologised to those I hurt during my rough years, especially my family and friends I had hurt. Yes, I felt ashamed, yes I felt like crawling into a whole because I felt embarrassed by my behaviour. But I had to think how the people I hurt felt, I said cruel things, I did horrible things, I put my life in danger and expected people to put up with it. I have made amends and strive everyday to take responsibility for what comes out of my mouth, for the things I do. I have come a long way in how I conduct myself even when my depression has taken hold.

If you want and expect people to care for you when you’re at your lowest, you should take care not to hurt them on your way down. Because someday, they might not be there to help you on your way back up.

New attitude towards life?

I decided to save everything from this week for a weekend blog, it makes much more sense than doing a boring blog every other day.

I am currently listening to all the B-sides and rarities 5SOS dropped on Spotify today. Some of the bass lines are incredible. They are definitely underrated in my circle of friends. It has sort of inspired me to get back out into the world and take photos again. Which is what this post is about.

A long, long time ago. I took up photography, I went to college I could have gone to university but decided I wanted to pursue other avenues. I’ve always had an eye for locations. I have several memory cards laying around my house with various shoots I’ve done, for either college or just because. I definitely prefer landscape over fashion or music etc. Although I do have some crackers from gigs I’ve been too.

I find it so therapeutic, being outside, headphones in capturing anything that takes my fancy. I might even get out and explore the towns nearby whilst Noah is at school. I do enjoy being arty, I can’t really draw and my poetry sucks. But photography has always been my jam. It helps with my feelings of anxiety, looking at life through a lense, it eases the nausea, the fidgety hands, the headaches, it allows me to breathe, too focus on one section of the world at a time. I want to be able to make time to go out and actually be productive. I’ve spent too long inside too scared, to anxious about what is out there. It isn’t as scary as I’d built it up too be. Now I’m able to see that I have energy, I have passion, I have drive. I have things I need to do at home first, like finish putting up the wallpaper and the shelving, but once I’ve done that I’m going to embrace the cold, embrace nature and go be arty and fill more memory cards with wonderful photography.

Week 1 of feeling “normal”

What even is normal? i don’t think I’ve ever been normal. My mental health certainly has never been on any spectrum of normal. I’ve spent more than half my life being anxious or depressed. 15 years to be exact, 2001 was a cruel, cruel year to me, the beginning of my relationship with my mental health.

Being bullied played a huge role in how I saw myself, not only as an individual but as part of my family. People could say things about me and I would brush it off, I didn’t care for what they had to say, but as soon as someone said something about my brother, the way he looked, they way he acted, or the way he sounded I lost it. He couldn’t stick up for himself, I was the strong willed one, the stubborn one, the one who would bite back anytime someone said something horrible about my brother. He is autistic and in school it was obvious he was different, he was goth, all his friends were goth and they had very niche interests. I wasn’t goth, I wasn’t really anything I was 11 years old, I was just happy to be out of primary school, I didn’t realise how tough my brother really had it. I did meet some people who would truly change my life through my brother though, life long friends who I’ve since seen get married and start families of their own. That was possibly the only good thing to come out of my first secondary school experience.

It wasn’t until I tried to kill myself that my parents took notice I was in year 8, the easter holidays were about to start and my parents had a meeting with my tutor and year head, they said some incredibly offensive things, my dad almost punched an old woman in the face, if I hadn’t been so unhappy I would have laughed. They grabbed me and shouted that I was never coming back to this hell hole. That was the last time I saw the school. I was immediately transferred to the school my mum worked at, we went on our holiday, when we came back it was time to start a new school. I was terrified, I didn’t make friends easily though, but once I did, I was with the same friends throughout the rest of my school life. I had several breakdowns during my time at school, a friend of my mums found me slumped in the school bathrooms after I’d slit my wrists. Thankfully it was kept quiet and I didn’t become a cause for gossip. Other than the fact everyone thought I was a lesbian, not that there’s anything wrong with it, I am pansexual after all. But kids are brutal at that age if you don’t conform and the “popular” girls didn’t want me in the changing rooms. I told them they weren’t my type and they all got offended, sorry girls, barbie just wasn’t doing it for me. More of a Morticia Addams fan.

My teen years were a blur of self harm, suicide attempts and alcohol and drug abuse. I was with the same boyfriend from 15-18 and we did almost everything we shouldn’t have done. He came from a broken home, he didn’t have a great up bringing and when I was 16 and finished in school he moved in with me and my family. That was the beginning of the end, we would break up on a monthly basis, we cheated on each other, we got back together, he was living alone in his mums house after she moved in with her boyfriend, it became a doss house, we would get drunk, take drugs, all sorts. It wasn’t healthy. I ended up spending 3 weeks with my family in Spain just before my 18th birthday, it was then I realised I didn’t really love him, it was just a bad habit I couldn’t kick. I flew home the day after his birthday and ended it. My problems didn’t end there though, I was still drinking, heavily, I was out with friends 4-5 times a week, I would work just to buy alcohol. It was awful. Then I met the love of my life. He was incredible, we had a great relationship for the most part. We eventually broke up, I turned to alcohol again.

I had a string of flings, nothing lasted longer than a couple of weeks, I just wasn’t interested in anyone romantically. I met Noah’s dad 4 months after my 19th birthday, again it was only a couple of months we spent together, once I found out I was pregnant everything changed. I stopped drinking, I got myself healthy, I thought this would be the end of my mental health struggles. I don’t think I could have been more wrong.

It’s been nearly 5 years since I gave birth to Noah, he is incredible, I honestly don’t know how I have been so lucky to have a child with such a big heart, I’ve been on sertraline for 7 months now, and I won’t lie, it has been a real struggle. I’ve had more bad days than good days, but the bad days haven’t been as bad as they were when I wasn’t on medication. Last week has been the first full week where I haven’t felt anxious or like wanting to die. I have been enjoying music again, I’ve been writing, I’ve been out with Noah. It’s been truly magical, seeing his face light up when I tell him we can stop by the park on the way home because mummy isn’t wanting to hurry back to safety.

It’s always going to be a struggle for me, I will be fighting my demons for the rest of my life, but I will not let them win. The voices in my head can say whatever the hell they want, I will not give them the satisfaction of winning.

I am a fighter, I will win this war.

I’ve been offline for a while.

So I’ve been having a tough time of late, not really socialising, not feeling life in general. I’ve had a bit of a cry, listened to some music and got myself back on the road to recovery.

I’ve made myself a plan for this week, I will complete it. I will stick to it and I will feel better. I do feel like I’ve wasted some time. Which makes the anxiety even worse, but I will fight it, this voice in my head won’t win.

I will be strong, I will fight this abyss I keep getting sucked into and I will come out of the other side stronger than when I started.

That’s all for now, I will be back on the blogging Monday night.

Over and out.