What a Lonely Life…

I’ve been feeling very lonely recently. Despite the fact that I have people that I can talk to via messenger or WhatsApp I feel so freakin’ lonely it is unreal.

I’m not a person that likes to be with a lot of people physically. I am happy with my family – my manshape (as I call the other half) and my two boys. This is all I need. I don’t need to be surrounded by loud chattering people. I have a condition called misophonia (which I have blogged about before) and being in a loud social situation can be hell for me. I find it so difficult to cope with. I’m a hermit, a loner, a recluse. I just do not blend well with other people, I really don’t.

Yet I love to chat with people online. It’s a great way for me to facilitate a social circle whilst maintaining my privacy and keeping to myself.

I’m severely telephone phobic and can’t bring myself to talk on the phone unless I absolutely have to. The rest of the time, my carer will speak on my behalf. Even looking at the phone which is sitting on a little table at the end of the living room – I can feel my pulse picking up… my anxiety is climbing and I’m starting to panic. I feel safe with my mobile phone because I know inside my head that all it is used for is writing my blog pieces, texting and using WhatsApp. That is my safety blanket with it.

I had to take a break for half an hour in writing this as my anxiety got to be way too bad. My carer has got me upstairs and settled me into bed and I have had a Valium. I’m slowly starting to feel a little more human now. Well, as human as is possible for me (which is not very).

Back to the point of this piece. I’m feeling inexplicably lonely. What is wrong with me? I don’t want to go out and socialise. Agoraphobia and a love of my own company have seen to that. But for some bizarre reason I feel so disconnected from myself and feel like I am in free fall just spinning time and space with nothing to anchor myself to.

I can’t cope with Facebook or Twitter. It is all just too much. I feel overwhelmed by the number of people on there. I don’t feel very together at the moment. Not one bit. I feel very down. Like my bipolar is going into a crash. When that happens, I can’t cope with anything or anybody and I need to hide away. The weird thing is that I still feel lonely and afraid. I know that as my mood gets even lower, then that feeling will slowly dissipate and I will just feel numb and hollow inside. That is all. Nothing else.

I can’t reach out to anyone at all. Life is very regimented for me. Yet another issue – my OCD. I can’t reach out because people just don’t seem to understand just how bad things can get for me and how low down this illness can actually take me. So I guess I shall be lonely all on my own. Thank you very much for reading.

Be kind to each other.x

Our Mental Illnesses Are NOT Your Cute Personality Quirks…

Seriously people. The next time that I hear”Oh I must tidy up, I’m so OCD today” or “Oh she’s up one minute and down the next – she’s so bipolar!” I am going to stuff my walking stick right up that person’s asshole and turn them into a fucking lollipop. I swear I am.

Listen up people. Suffering from mental illness is no triviality and neither is it a fucking joke. I have struggles with several mental health issues, OCD and bipolar being two of them, so it really does set my teeth on edge when I hear someone coming out with an off the cuff, totally fucking moronic comment like that.

When we said we wanted mental health disorders to be spoken about more, we didn’t mean for you to appropriate them into your everyday conversations.

Lately (and unfortunately), it is becoming something of the norm that mental health disorders find their way into everyday discussions, and not in the way we’d like them to. I can’t count on my hand how many times I’ve heard someone who’s had a minor inconvenience or mishap go on to complain about how ‘depressed’ they are. Not only is it infuriating, but it’s hurtful.

For those diagnosed with depression, you’ll know it’s not something that suddenly happens after something goes wrong, or you’ve had a ‘bad day.’ It’s a constant state, you’re trapped in it, and it is definitely not something that can be used as an adjective.

No, Sarah, just because your boyfriend hasn’t texted back in three hours, doesn’t mean you’re not depressed.

You are upset, sad, down, blue (see ‘unhappy‘ in the thesaurus for more synonyms) but you are certainly not depressed.

However by comparing your sadness to a mental health disorder, what you’ve done is silence the kid three seats down from you who’s been dealing with this disorder for months, who’s struggling to wake up every morning, who’s on medication just to get them through the day.

You’re comparing a moment of sadness in your life, to a lifetime of theirs.

But it’s not just depression that is used as an adjective, it’s next to all mental health disorders. I remember sitting in class once whilst a group of teenage boys were stalking a girl’s Instagram page. They reached a picture of her where she looked skinny, slim, and thin, and all they could think to say was, “Wow, she’s so anorexic!” I was thinking to myself, “Really? Out of all the words to call her, you had to relate it back to a mental health disorder?”

The list goes on; calling someone who organizes their work neatly on a table ‘OCD’, calling someone who’s mood has changed from the last time you saw them ‘bipolar’, not getting a good nights sleep and complaining that you must have ‘insomnia.’ They are not adjectives, they are our real mental health disorders that real people face. We have not come forward about them for you to simply misdiagnose yourself after one incident.

So next time you feel the need to compare your sad moment. tidying of your room or unexpected mood swing to a mental health disorder, open a thesaurus. There are plenty of synonyms; use a different one.

Things You Take For Granted…

There are many things in this life that we all take for granted and are not in the slightest bit grateful that we have the ability to actually do them and do them without even thinking about it.

Little things like brushing your own hair and brushing your own teeth are so underrated… until you cannot do them by yourself. I cannot brush my own hair. My carer is awesome, but has so much to cope with that little things like my hair get forgotten about. Then I end up feeling guilty that I have to ask. Then half an hour later I have to ask again as it has been forgotten and so on and so on. I end up in floods of tears as I feel like I’m nagging for something that is so simple that is so simple, I should be able to do this for myself. Yet I can’t. I try to lift my arms up to get my hands to my head and my shoulders crack and searing agony shoots across the top of my body. My shoulders will not move more than an inch before they crack and pop, and if I’m not careful, they will dislocate. That, my dear readers hurts like a bee-otch I can tell you. I can’t brush my own freakin’ hair and I hate myself for it. I feel so freakin’ useless because of it. I really miss just being able to lift up the brush, style and go.

Brushing my teeth. That, like most of the hygiene related tasks that I can relate to is so difficult. On the good days when I can stand at the sink, I have an electric toothbrush, but when I can’t make it? I have to use listerine strips.

All of these little things. Hygiene, dressing, getting to the loo and even pampering yourself. Little things that you take for granted when you are “healthy”. You simply do not realise just how much you miss them until you can not do them, and the effect that this can have upon you as a person can be quite devastating, it really can.

I miss ironing. Yes, I know that you will all recoil in horror, but I genuinely did love ironing. I would put on some classical music and happily stand there till it was all ironed. Socks, underwear, towels, the lot. Even something as mundane as housework. Even things you hate (for me that was hoovering) but ironically I even miss that.

I guess that my point here is that you do not realise just how valuable little mundane aspects of your life truly are. Things that you would do without even thinking about it. Spreading your own butter on a piece of toast. Opening a can of fizzy juice. Those are the kinds of things that you do not miss until they are no longer a part of your everyday life.

I’m slowly learning how to cope with this aspect of my illness, and every day that passes, I become a little more adept at coming to terms with what I no longer have the ability to do due to my illness. I’ll never be completely over it but in life, we must learn to adapt when our circumstances change and we cannot prevent it.

I guess that what I am trying to say is this. Never, ever be upset or ungrateful about little things. Be glad, be happy that you can pick up that iron or push that hoover. Be glad you can make your own cup of tea or coffee. Be glad you can stand in the shower and not have to sit on a chair and have someone wash you while you are there.

Give thanks every day for the small stuff. Never ever lose that, and always love your life.

Well, I guess that is all for this time so I’ll finish here.

Be kind to each other.x

Why?…

Why can’t I heal? Why can I not move on? People keep on telling me that I must let go and stop letting my past control me. If only it was that easy. I wish that I could let that past go and move through what haunts my dreams.

I have always tried to put on a mask to try and conceal the hurt that eats away at my soul. But I find it almost impossible to keep that mask from slipping when I am hurting. I have no close friends. My best friend lives hundreds of miles away. So when my depression looms and I want comfort, the only way that I can find it is either through a blog post or posting on Facebook. I’ve been ostracised for my Facebook posts. People have tutted and moaned and voiced their abject disgust at my pathetic inability to cope with my life.

I’ve lost friends because of this. People that had been really close to me prior to this falling out. But they apparently could not cope with my need to express myself in a vain attempt to heal my pain. I was devastated. At first it almost felt like a betrayal. These people were so valuable to me. Yet they could not allow me the one therapy I have that actually works… talking about my pain on my Facebook page. Yes, I could understand them saying that is was depressing and they couldn’t cope, but how the hell did they expect me to cope? There is a quote by the wonderful Marilyn Monroe… 

I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.

The last sentence of that quote really struck home with me. It’s so true. If you can’t handle me when I’m falling apart, then you don’t deserve me when I’m back together. That is how I have dealt with the loss of people that were such a big part of my life.

I had a flashback in the early hours of this morning. They are so vivid and so horrible that I feel like I am back there. I can smell the whiskey on his breath. I can feel his hands. I can even hear the dog barking next door. I’m still shaking. My pulse is racing and my breathing is really unsettled. You can guarantee I’ll have a night terror tonight. They always come the night after a flashback. I don’t know why, but they always do.

Maybe if I had a closer friend, things would be better. I really don’t know. But I have to express my pain somehow. I have to get it out of my system. I can’t stand the way it hurts.

I’ve been told many times to “move on” or “forget it” but it isn’t that easy. I can’t. It clings to me like a thick toxic cloud. When people tell me to “forget it” it feels like they are trivialising my pain and debasing how I feel. Why can’t I heal?

An open letter to people who cheat… (and one person in particular)

You destroy lives. You destroy hope. You destroy dreams. 

I remember my mum’s face. She was all red and blotchy. Her eyes were swollen and her nose was running. She was clutching a sodden tissue in her hand and the remains of its predecessor lay shredded around her feet. I asked her what was wrong. I was only 10 years old. I didn’t understand. She told me my so called ‘father’ had run away with another woman and he was living with her now. 

Every time she wanted to speak to him, I had to phone the house. She was terrified of the other woman answering the phone. Now that I’m older, I can understand this so much. But at the time, I was so full of anger and sadness that I couldn’t do it without crying before and after. The bitch would always be nice to me. Fake niceness. It made me feel sick to the bottom of my stomach.

My mum never recovered from the damage that this did to her. Then after her death, the pair of them pissed all over my mum’s memory by moving into the same house and sleeping in my mum’s fucking bed!!! Sick!!! This I could never, ever forgive. Never.

This is just my story of the damage that infidelity can do. There is so much more to it as well. Stuff that I just cannot bring myself to share in public. I carry that inside me and even to this day I still feel the pain. I think I always will.

I have to question the psyche of cheaters. What kind of person can willingly inflict that kind of pain on another? Before I get jumped on, I am referring to BOTH parties here and not just the “other woman/man”.

What kind of person can actively destroy a family? It is something that I don’t think I will ever understand.

Then once your deception is uncovered, things can go one of two ways. You can continue on, or the relationship ends. In the second situation you can either choose to let it go, or you can pull every nasty trick in the book to try and inveigle yourself back into the life of your ex. You don’t care about anything else and you don’t care what lies you tell or who you hurt in the process. You are a special kind of evil. One day you will feel the same pain that you inflicted. That’s called karma. It’s pronounced HA HA fuck you.

An open letter to people who judge me…

You look at me now. You see somebody who is in a wheelchair. You see somebody who is visibly upset and trying to hide their face. You hear my tears. You see that I’m overweight. What do you do? Instead of doing the right thing which is to just ignore me, and go on with your day, what is it that you choose to do?

You point. You laugh. Yes, you actually have the gall to laugh at me and to encourage your knuckledragging fuckwit friends to laugh at me too. The fact that this causes me even more pain means nothing to you. It just provides you with more fuel for your sadistic fire. How can you be so cruel? You are happy to watch my tears flow and you glory in my pain.

You perpetuate every single prejudice about people in wheelchairs that rattles around in your tiny little pea brain.

Allow me to enlighten you, dear reader, about just two experiences out of the many. One day I had been to a hospital appointment. As a treat to myself on the way home, my friend took me to Hobbycraft. I was excited to go as I needed to top up my craft supplies. On our way around the aisles, we kept coming across two women. One of whom was pushing a pram. Every time, she would give an over exaggerated tut and begrudgingly move out of way. Then I overheard them talking a couple of aisles away. “People like that shouldn’t be allowed out at the same time as normal people!” To which the other replied, “Yeah, pain in the arse cripples!” I was so humiliated. I burst into tears and put my basket down on the floor and my friend just took me straight home. Yes, I know that I had just as much right as anyone to be there. But after that, I couldn’t bear to be there. It hurt too much.

The second example now. I was on my way to another hospital appointment. My friend was pushing me along. I noticed a little girl of around five or six years old staring at me. I smiled at her and gave her a friendly little wave. She took a step towards me, at which point her mother grabbed her arm and pulled her back. (Fair enough I thought. You don’t want your child talking to a stranger.) The woman then said to her daughter, “NO!!! Dont go near that! You don’t know what you might catch!” I just couldn’t believe the level of ignorance present there! I cried for the rest of the day.

How would you feel if this were you? Your sister/mother/auntie? Would you still be happy to perpetuate such hate and prejudice?

Think. Think before you open your mouth. You never know just how much damage your poisoned words can actually do.

Not all benefits claimants are scroungers!

Every single fucking day, I open my eyes and I cry for the career that I have lost. The career that I dedicated 16 years of my life to. I loved nursing with a passion. Yes, it’s physically and mentally a very demanding job and you could argue that you are a glorified shit shoveler, but despite all of that, I miss it with all my heart and soul. I really do.

Yet despite all that love, I had to make the choice to change my job. To give up the career that I loved so much. I had to take a job in the local shop in my village, as a part time checkout operator. Why? I was going backwards financially. I was making too much money to claim anything for help with rent or childcare. I was sinking further into debt. My boys would get what food I could afford to buy, so there were days I drank lots of water so I couldn’t feel my empty belly. I was starting to hate the career I loved. So that’s why I changed careers.

I got help with child care costs and a small amount of housing benefit. It wasn’t much, but it helped. I was able to buy a lot of the reduced food at work which helped to keep my grocery bill right down. Things were not marvellous but they were sure as heck better than before.

Then, in 2009, came my constant companion. Pain. It spread through my body like a wildfire, and the were mornings when I would try to get out of bed and have to shove a pillow in my mouth to scream so that I didn’t wake/scare the kids. I had rheumatoid arthritis, but the pain was not constant. The pain relief I was taking worked. But not now. Nothing helped. I did everything I could, I exercised to keep my muscles working and took painkillers. I pushed myself through work every single day.

One day, it was just too much. My body knocked me on my ass. I couldn’t move without crying. I called my doctor and thankfully I got an emergency appointment. I got taken there in my PJs because it hurt too much to move my arms. I was written up for some stronger pain killers and was referred to several people at the hospital and for several different scans. I was given a three month sick note.

Months later I had my diagnoses (more than one 😭😭😭) and I was medically retired from work. I was heartbroken. I had worked since I left school. I had never had to survive on benefits. Until now. I cope. I don’t live. The boys are well fed, and I eat what’s left. But I miss my job. I would run to the door and beg to be let back in to work. If I could. But my situation is never going to get any better. This is it for me now. There is no better.

What really fucking hurts now is when I see the things that are posted on the Internet about benefit claimants. I see the things my friends have written about benefit claimants. Do they think that of me? Do they see me like that? This is almost more than I can bear. Do they think I love living my life this way? Well I don’t. I hate it. I hate being a prisoner in this chair. I hate not being able to work. I hate having to rely on what the state gives me. So please take a moment before you say those things. Try and think that there are some people who would give their eye teeth to be able to work. Including me.