Thursday, 11 February 2016

time to talk day 2016

Again, I'm a little too slow. I started writing this introduction last Thursday morning, thinking I would be home after therapy to finish and be part of Time to Talk Day.

Then 30 hours of work (over a couple of days!) later I got to bed and now it's Thursday again. My brain is very slow at the moment. I've just started a new drug and, well, the side effects are not delicious.

Shall I try, one more time?


It's Time to Talk.



So another day of talking. Mental wellness is something I think we almost take for granted. It's very difficult to quantify before illness arrives, because mental ill health can be incredibly insidious. It's part of it's clever arsenal of misery, to make you think you are not worthy of help and that if you just tried a little harder everything would be fine.  It's not just about being happy, it's about being safe and hopeful.

"the finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist"
Charles Baudelaire 

Why am I going to add my voice today?  Why am I going to reveal more, reveal something so intimate and painful?

I'm talking because despite everything, I still want to help people. I think I want to help myself. It's definitely why I'm still alive. Above all I do still want to help others. Others who don't have as loud a voice as mine, and for the most part my voice is incredibly weak.

I'm going to talk about my acute suicidal ideation. We don't talk about suicide, it's something thought to be incredibly shameful and that it will never affect us. I'm not saying it's a nice thing to talk about. Oh, gosh no. It's hideous. However, if your head constantly tells you, that you are "pathetic and useless" and seductively invites you to sit on the edge of life and death it seems incredibly rational. Oh readers, it is not rational. Even though, every moment of every day I feel like a failure. However for young men it's a big killer. For me, I have a lot of help right now but it's just not the case for many.

I want to reiterate what others have said, that suicide isn't selfish. It's not anyone's real first choice. 

So if you need help, please try and focus on that sliver of hope, perhaps it's not even you holding on to it. There is always hope my darling. If you can't see it right now, find that person who wants you to have hope. If you can't love or even like yourself right now, someone out there wants you to live. Perhaps they are your best friend, parent or lover. Or perhaps they are me, no-one deserves to feel the way you feel right now, you do exist and the whilst the feelings you are experiencing are real, they are not you. You can be more than your illness. You can keeping on trying. You can survive.

If you're in the UK, call 999 if you feel you can't stop yourself from hurting yourself. I urge you to give yourself one more chance. It's bloody scary to feel be on the edge and whilst I don't think A&E is the best place for someone acutely suicidal, it is at least a safe place. I so want you to be safe.

Maybe 999 seems too much, could you try and call the Samaritans on 116 123 (yeah I don't understand how that's a phone number either!). Even if you don't say anything, perhaps it will give you a moment longer to think.

And if you are in touch with your local mental health services, I know they don't seem the most kind at times, and that continuity of care is incredibly disjointed but do try and call their crisis line.

YOU ARE NOT WASTING ANYONE'S TIME.

Perhaps no-one will read this - perhaps I'm hoping that when I need to try and stop myself again I'll read this and focus on the hope. I find it hard to direct these empathetic feelings towards myself, I know others are the same. This is unashamedly for me too.

So this was my January. I'm not sure why I'm writing this down. Perhaps it will make me understand myself a little more. I find I can express myself more clearly. Perhaps I'll learn something. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps...

TRIGGER WARNING, please don't read this if you are teetering on the edge. Call 999 or the Samaritans or anyone, just don't read this. Anna if you are close to the edge the next time you read this, call Bean, call 999. Please don't try and take your life again. I know you don't think you are but you are so loved. Please sweetpea, just try to talk to someone.




Oh how I was going to write.

I was going to write every day and I was, I was, I was.

Slowly each day that passed would allow me to start to write again and I would find joy. I am under no illusion that I am a writer but I do recall a time where I enjoyed trying to write. Trying to rebuild a little of my life I used to enjoy. I really loved being part of a caring community of bloggers who became my friends.

Days passed. I went to therapy, I went to work and Thursday came.

Those days before I felt I'd been screaming for help (albeit metaphorically) but at the same time I was pretending I was fine. 

That morning, after Bean had left for work, I took out the hundreds of pills I'd bought over the past few days and I sat down on my bed.

Those little pills and I looked at one another for a time.

My plan crystallised. I should take some tablets now, pretend everything is fine whilst I attend my therapy and after Bean knows I've been "good" I can go to a hotel and end my life.

So I started to take the pills, by the time I'd caught the train I'd taken 80 pills.

Schadenfraude is a "funny" thing. Only the day before I'd sat moments before Waterloo East as a young lady pulled the alarm as we moved into the station. I'd bemoaned the fact she chose to do this just before the train stopped. I didn't see her set off the alarm but she was in my carriage and I could see her, I couldn't understand that even after she stopped the train she asked no-one for help. It baffled me. I arrived at work late and indignant.

So as I stood on the train to the hospital to attend therapy I started to feel rather queasy. Even in my slightly confused and nauseated state, I remembering giggling at the irony of the situation in which I found myself. Luckily for the other passengers I managed to contain my stomach and my arms. I left the train and found myself in hospital.

Hospital is meant to be a safe place and I'm embarrassed to say I made it unsafe for my fellow patients. I was overcome by the toxins in my body and they quickly saw that I was under the influence of something.

And so I was marched to A&E and I waited to be seen, alone. In that time I took another 80 odd pills. It was then I started to feel incredibly unwell and promptly vomited over matron. Sorry sir.

There I sat. I refused to let them call Bean. I refused treatment. I so wanted to die. I needed to die. Life had/has become so unbearable.

As the hours passed I realised I wouldn't be able to steal myself away (no matter how much I tried to slip away), being manhandled by security guards whilst being threatened with being sectioned is never nice.

I'd thought that death would come that day. I was so angry with myself, again wasting the time of the NHS. The registrar did a great job of scaring me. They kept taking my blood and showing me my results. My blood was already acidotic and my fear increased. It has never been my intention to die from liver failure.The pills have always been my ill-conceived backup plan and not my primary want.

And thus I relented, I allowed them to treat me.

I stayed in hospital for another three days. Hoping that my I hadn't ruined my liver. The words, "massive overdose" were bandied about by the staff and thus I was watched constantly. At least I managed to escape being admitted into a psychiatric ward - although perhaps that would have been good for me?

Each day I feel as if my mind is torturing me. (Note I know it is not real torture, having met patients who have been tortured I would not dare equate my situation to theirs but I cannot think of another way to describe the constant barrage of hatred which bounces around my head.) It slips out sometimes and it always surprises people, for this incarnation of me (and it is me - I can't hide from that) is a terrible person. And yet, this is the person I have to deal with all the time and people are surprised that it distresses me so? I know you would feel the same. Just imagine how it feels to be verbally devastated by someone and that's how my brain treats me, every day.

I think it would be so much easier if I just knew I wanted to be dead. It's just seems that a I still have a little bit of hope still inside me. The little sliver which makes me go to work, to therapy and try and be a real person. It's the hope that hurts. Death seems like paradise (albeit in my head that is nothing - death is absolutely nothing). To continue with the thoughts, the fear of being admitted to a psych ward, to never live the life Bean and I both wanted. The torture seems incredibly real and oppressive.

So whilst I talk, I know that others can't or won't. I appreciate this is an incredibly personal moment in my life and that many people might think that it's incredibly inappropriate to discuss this publicly. However the fact we don't talk is the reason people think they have no other choice. I'm so lonely. It's not a physical loneliness. I'm very lucky to be cared for by many people but it's a mental loneliness. I don't want anyone to feel the way I do. I wouldn't want to burden them with my thoughts of self-loathing and self-destruction. It just seems a rather cruel thing to do.

So, whilst you may be lonely, you are not alone. These are not good thoughts. (I know good and bad are the wrong words - according to psychology - but I really think they are right for this moment.) There is something wrong if you feel like suicide is the only choice. Please try and talk to someone, I would say talk to me, but right now I'm so very unreliable, I can barely concentrate long enough to write a sentence, leave alone read one, so if you write to me (and please do because I will respond eventually) please talk to someone that same day. Please.

It's my birthday this weekend. I'm nervous. Bean has organised fun but I'm scared I will ruin things. If not this weekend but in the days following. I know life is good for many people but it just seems as if it will be too hard for my little soul. I don't want to waste any more of Bean's time.

What will the next few days bring?

I hope I don't find myself in hospital. I hope I can enjoy my birthday. I hope there are all the flowers.

I hope I can connect with a few more people through this blog. I'm trying and for now that has to be enough.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Cards are Cuddles continued

Oh squee. You kind souls. Cards are Cuddles is definitely go!

I'd forgotten how much I love sending post (and receiving it!) I'd forgotten I'd sent myself a card and it was just so wonderful to come home to exciting colours on the doormat! (Oh I'm a sad, old sausage!).

I'm certainly not forgetting you all. Your emails and comments have made me smile.

Oh smiles are in short supply in my heart right now. (Sorry Bean, you try so hard, I'm just not good).

Trying to find that certain something. Hmm what could it actually be?

I'm so sorry I've have't got back to replying to all of you. What with work (oh sitting in front of a computer all day entering and cleaning data is not always thrilling - no really?!) and then being a hospital patient three times a week trying to get my brain not want my body dead is bloody exhausting. I know it doesn't sound like it should be but I'm incredibly surprised as to how the last couple of months are wearing me down so.

Crumbs, I'm almost in tears just thinking about next week, that life's endless cycle just continues. *Sigh*. Yet, why on earth do I think anyone wants to hear about said woes? It does seem to border on the narcissistic. I'm not sure why I still want to write a blog but I really do. Since I've been gone I've really missed the community, the writing and my attempts at creativity. 

Dear readers, will you continue to join me whilst I try and work out what I'm trying to do?

I do miss some of the wedding chat but definitely want to talk about mental health. Oh who knows really. I need to get back into a routine, 

Perhaps writing something everyday, about something light or heavy would be a start. So that shall be my goal this week, Something. Just something.

I hope you enjoy.

Cuddles x

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Cards Are Cuddles


Post. We all get post. Most of it is junk. Indeed currently despite returning to sender on at least four separate occasions we receive 3 issues of a commercial diving magazine (need to know which pipe situation is the most dangerous and how to mix your gases? I'm your girl).

I digress, post is meant to be joyful. I would suggest that you think of your birthday, but I am acutely aware that some people aren't good card givers.* But think of your birthday and Christmas, I actively get excited about the postman arriving, (Although I have to admit that I want to be home more often when the postman arrives because a lovely cat, Tommy, likes to accompany him on his round. Tommy is a delicious chancer, we thought he was a stray who liked to jump through windows into the house on occasion but he always felt a little too solid to be a stray. He isn't, he lives around the corner in a lovely home – according to the postman. What a sneaky sausage – we've fed him many a time!).

Again, always with the digressing. Those pretty handwritten envelopes landing on your doormat. Against a backdrop of letters from HMRC (I've had 5 in the last month alone – although I got a teeny rebate yesterday – huzzah), junk and bills what isn't to like about an island of pink in amongst the brown.

I had wanted to start writing cards in December as a sort of Advent of joy but when I started writing the cards they all sounded like final goodbyes. They were all a little too “suicide-y” so I decided 2016 (if I got here) would be a much better bet because no-one has smiles in January.

So hello January (who’d have thunk it – seriously wasn't expecting to be here). Remember all those cards you buy because they are so wonderful, because stationery is so very wonderful, and never send. This is your opportunity. Yes to spreading the joy away from December.

So #cardsarecuddles is go. Huzzah, it has a hashtag and everything, it must be important. Perhaps you like to play along and tweet some of the cards you’re sending? I know I’ll try to tweet one every day for the next few weeks (at the very least).

The reason I want to do this apart from all the joy spreading is that when you suffer with a mental illness (and physical too) you can feel so alone. It’s such a cliché but chronic illness is so isolating. I have Bean and others but my brain is constantly telling me to kill myself it’s a pretty lonely place (even if I'm in hospital 3 days a week trying to get better). Apart from talking here (and a little on the book of faces) I don’t think people know how much I loathe myself and want to be dead. Mental wellness is cryptic. Life continues around you and you feel so very stuck. Some days a kind word from a dear friend can make the world seem a safer place. Go on, altruism looks good on you.

I've also decided to do something slight weird, I've decided to send myself a couple of cards. I have super pretty ones which selfishly I want to keep so I'm going to try and fill them with kind words to myself. Kindness is nice. I'm oft not kind to myself. Perhaps a degree of separation will allow me to be.

So would you fancy joining me in my little crusade to bring a little colour to people’s post. I've just spent £27 on second class stamps and I'm ready to try and entertain the idea my handwriting is legible.

Oh and I’d love to send a few more cards to new people so would you like a pretty little card from me? If so do email me (helloannaandthering@gmail.com) your address and name and what not – so I can spread some more joy. I promise this is not a pyramid scheme and I won’t be using your address for evil or anything apart from sending you a card. Seriously I have all the pretty cards, let me send you a cuddle.

So #cardsarecuddles is there for everyone. Hopefully I can bring a smile to my favourite people and encourage one or two others to do the same. The world can be an upsetting and unsettling place and I just want to do a miniscule bit to change that.

Remember, cuddles are wonderful (and stationery is delicious).













*My only bugbear, well major grump (to add to the list), is the sad lack of words in cards. Seriously,

Dear Anna,


*blank space*


Love Anna.


Not cool people. Not cool at all. Even if you write, I'm thinking of you (which is what a card really is – hopefully) just say that. You have enough ink and I promise you the person at the other end of the stamp will appreciate it all the more. Oh and other aspect to remember is that a card is not an obligation. Don’t expect anything in return. Obviously! Oh it would be so sweet but alas life is busy.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Hello 2016


You may have seen my little instagram post* about Bean’s and my manifesto for 2016.

I think I’ll be updating my little board every month, perhaps by the end of the year I’ll have 12 images of hopefulness with 366 days of good memories to enjoy and build on in 2017.**

Life has been pretty rubbish for the pair of us over the past year. Indeed it’s 1 year and a day since I was released (discharged) from hospital. A moment that was meant to offer hope. Alas I’ve been hospitalised twice since then and have been lucky to stay away on a few other occasions. (Tis the joy (?) of receiving treatment three times a week as an out-patient – the doctors and therapists actively try to keep you out of inpatient-ness. I’m incredibly lucky to be receiving the care I am – even if it seems incredibly fruitless currently.)

So our 2015, after a pretty useless start to the year June brought utter devastation. Bean’s brother died. My big brother-in-law. I love(d) being his little sister. I miss him so very much. One understands that they will lose grandparents and parents (and of course it is painful - so very painful) but to lose a sibling, so soon, far too soon, is indescribable. My poor family. His death will always affect us, even if time dulls the pain.

Yet time marches on without knowing the trials faced, and Bean’s father underwent major surgery (he’s doing incredibly well – yay!), I became a missing person whilst I tried to die and for most of December I’ve been sitting on the edge – occasionally a literal platform edge, often a metaphorical one culminating in a trip to A&E. No, 2015 was not “our year.”

However, despite the pervasive sads on my part, things are looking up for team Beanna. I don’t want to jinx everything but Bean is finally having some well deserved good luck and, well, I’m still alive (small victories).

But to 2016 and back to the manifesto.

and Yeses

More kisses perhaps with glitter lips - I found this amazing lipstick which I wore on Christmas day and stayed on lip a trooper. I had glittery lips well into the evening (which may make more kisses difficult)



Nice cats – oh I miss our little foster kittens. We said goodbye to our last little ones in November. Hopefully February will bring us a new brood or perhaps a couple of older cats down on their luck.

All the photos - back in May my world was full of photos. As my mood turned to darkness it's felt that any creative juice I once had has been vanquished by the shadows. I hope to take time to explore the world rather than merely exist. 

Happy adventures – adventure is severely lacking in my current world. With 7 others I am to attempt to crack the Crystal Dome in October. So I need to find other ridiculous things to fill my days. 

Blogging brilliance - well one blog a week would be brilliant for me right now. Fingers crossed for more. I do enjoy this writing lark. 

Super good friend times - I miss people despite all the cocooning. I'm just not very good at being a friend. I need to learn how to connect and ask for cuddles. 

Kindness – tomorrow I shall reveal a little more about something I spoke about on instagram yesterday.

Nos

The dying thing. Yeah. It's mostly what I think about currently. Perhaps that could change?

What do you want 2016 to hold?

*I’m annaandthering – come and join me – I do like a pretty thing or two

**I realise I say this whilst still being actively suicidal – it’s a strange dichotomy which I hope to explore a little more here on the blog (and also in all the therapy)

Monday, 5 October 2015

a week ago

a week ago

i left home with a bag 

i was reported as missing person

i checked into a hotel room

i wrote a few letters

i took a large overdose


and, well, I was hoping that would be it.


I was hoping for the profound.

Alas, no.

The police found me, Bean found me, the paramedics found me.*

What to say, nothing really. After almost a year I'm back to where I was. 


Anyhoo, after a few nights in hospital, I'm back at home. Home, a place I never thought I'd see again. 

I am now in a world in which Bean doesn't trust me, Bean's family and best friends really don't like me (for good reason, I keep hurting their boy), none of my friends are talking to me (because really what can you say to me and all I have to say is that I want to be dead to allow Bean to move on with his life) and the therapy to keep me alive seems altogether rather unnecessarily painful. 

I don't understand how I can suddenly decide that I don't want to be dead. In my head it is perfectly rational to want to be dead. It's all I've thought about for the past few months. I know that Bean and my family and my therapist want me to have hope but it seems so foolish. Indeed why are my thoughts not valid? Why is everyone else automatically right and I'm wrong? I understand that suicide is final but apparently "my body, my decision" doesn't work in this instance.

Therapy will continue to be hard, perhaps too hard, they want me to have hope and all I think of is death. I don't think I'm even "allowed" to hold such diametrically opposing views at the same time? How does the hope strengthen? I can't imagine thinking about anything else, especially when the words on repeat in my brain are simply, "pathetic and useless."

As an aside the day I left home a parcel arrived on our doorstep. This was inside.



Ha, The Happiness Planner. Oh the delicious irony. 

Perhaps I should use it? I think I ordered it a month ago. It asks for you to create 100 days of happiness. I've promised Bean I will not try to kill myself until at least 18th October, next weekend marks 15 years since our first kiss. Oh spin the bottle, you found me a man who is far too good for me. Far too good for me.

I do not know what I want. Truly, I wish I were dead. I wish I knew how to find hope because I know Bean wants me to stay alive. And above everything else I want Bean to be happy because when he frowns it hurts.

How do I make the jump. It's a question I keep failing. (And I fail a lot, so at least I've got consistency going for me).

Seriously, do I try to get through this therapy for a life that I've ruined? What hope do I have?**

Hmm, I just don't know. It's just such a lonely place to be. The loneliness hurts.***

*     yes I am acutely aware of how much taxpayers money I wasted in those few hours
**   purely rhetorical
*** it's entirely self imposed - I have taken to hiding in a cocoon of solitude

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Learning to love Steller


Are you in love with Steller too?

Yes, as always, I'm late to the party and for those who haven't found the joy - it's a wonderful place to share a series of images (and words). I place to create stories.

I find myself blogging in my head all the time. It's like that perfectly written email or the text you never send. The one you think you sent but never did. I want to blog but it's all a little sad in my brain right now. So Steller is perfect for me. I can create the images and then play with words. It allows me to be a mini-creative.

This is my first Steller and I have no idea if this is what happens to everyone's first Steller but it was chosen to be published into their Creative Collection and somehow made it to #11 on the most read in the last day. That makes me squee a little.

So enjoy my first, all from my day with the delightful 5ftinf, such an inspiring lady.


Are you on Steller? Obviously I'm annaandthering. Would love to see and follow you!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

7/7

10 years ago

It seems forever ago and just yesterday.

I have stark memories, 

I remember realising with a grump I'd left my phone at home.
I remember with the tannoy security announcement that London was long overdue something hideous,
I remember being late.
I remember getting off the train at Barons Court and making my way to lectures.
I remember walking to Putney Bridge and then onto Wimbledon to try and make it home. 
I remember thinking about my poor friends just starting their A&E attachment at St. Mary's in Paddington and the horrors they would (and did) face.
I remember being grateful that my lectures hadn't been at St Mary's because I could have been on the wrong train at the wrong time. I was grateful for my life.
I remember sobbing.
I remember getting back on the tube.
I remember London standing together. 

I hope we can always stand together.
I hope we never forget those who died and those who are still with us but irrevocably changed. 

We find ourselves in a world where people hide behind religion to commit atrocities. 'Twas ever thus. 

I hope that the light can fight the dark. Please stop killing each other. It's just that simple. No life is worth more than another. We are all the same person. Those who kill are not monsters. These men and women are just like me or you and that's what makes terrorism so terrorising. 

I hope for life and love. What else is there?