2

Glad we cancelled

Anon here.

My parents were supposed to come up for a visit today. They let us know yesterday and, even though I really, really wasn’t in the mood to be social and act happy, I told them it’d be fine for them to come visit and I’d see them tomorrow.

Tomorrow came and my mood was in the pits, so I called them and cancelled. I think this is the first time I’ve ever actually cancelled plans with them when I’ve needed to.

I’m really glad I didn’t force myself to go through with the day; instead me and Gog stayed in, watched easy TV and snuggled under blankets together.

The entire day my mood was horribly low and I was exhausted.

I had a two hour nap, woke up exhausted still, and fell asleep for another few hours.

I did make it out on two dog walks with our youngest dog; one was okay and I found it quite stress relieving, and the other one made me completely stressed and full of rage, for no real reason.

My paranoia hasn’t been too bad today. I’ve had the thoughts that aren’t mine in my head (it’s like hearing voices, but not someone talking outside my head, but in), they circle around suicide and how worthless I am, but as usual it’s the visual hallucinations that have had most impact and caused the most trouble.

And that’s pretty much my day.

It’s felt really short because I haven’t been awake that much, yet here I am at just after midnight exhausted again!

I think it’s Easter tomorrow. Happy Easter everyone.

4

Try understand how hard it is

I feel like I’m repeating myself a lot at the moment, but it’s because so many people we are close to can’t seem to understand how hard a time we have.

To those people, I present this blog post.

Read it, and try imagine that this is you, this is your life.

This post is based purely on me – my experiences and my symptoms, although it will probably resonate for others.

I know it is hard for people who have no experience to understand how difficult it is living with a severe mental illness; I know it’s probably impossible for you to get even close to imagining how my day-to-day life is…but if you can’t understand it, keep your mouth shut.

Being told ‘things will get better’ or ‘maybe you should get a job’ or ‘yeah, I know how you feel, I was depressed for a few days too but I just pulled myself together!’ – NONE of these things help, because you do not seem to realise that I am ill every day, and I *can’t* just snap out of it.

Try to imagine…

~ Your mood changes: for weeks or months you feel one extreme; then suddenly it’s all gone.

Here’s your life.

You have manic episodes, which involve a huge tangle of symptoms all bubbling away inside of you.

You struggle to get your thoughts in order, they are racing in your head; you are thinking so fast you can’t speak; you are *full* of rage; you don’t sleep, you get 2-4 hours a night for weeks on end, and you’re left staring at the ceiling as your partner snores next to you; you need to be on the go all the time, every second of every day; & you *have* to spend hundreds of pounds.

Money it took you months and months to build up after the last manic episode.

When people don’t agree with your awesome ideas (you need to move house to an area you’ve never been before; you need to start a new business and invest all your money in it) you are flooded with anger.

In extreme mania you might have blackouts where you lose hours at a time, and you don’t know what you did. Or maybe you think people you love dearly are out to hurt you, and you need to hurt them first.

The other side of the coin is depression – your depressive episodes last longer; months at a time.

You fall fast, and much of your time is spent contemplating suicide; sometimes you attempt it, sometimes you end up having to take a trip to A&E. Suicide attempts were a regular part of your past before you had a partner to care for you 24/7, and a large part of you resents him for this.

Days pass where you have no energy; often you can manage a dog walk or two, but leaving for any other reason is unthinkable, impossible. You sit and are flooded with feelings of hopelessness. You’re totally numb, unable to move, unable to answer questions. You cry, constantly and over nothing, and worry endlessly about your loved ones, your future together, your health.

Those are your extremes, your poles. You don’t get anything else.

I’m never stable. I haven’t had a stable period for years. You know how you feel, every single fucking day, the way you manage things and have ‘normal’ emotions that you take for granted?

I don’t get that!

I am *always* either hypomanic, manic, depressed or wanting to die. ALWAYS.

~ You experience psychosis EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Not just once a day but many, many times.

Right now my psychosis isn’t so bad; so maybe you’ll only hear some whispered voices in the distance, which to you are totally real and immediately freak you out – what are they saying? Who are they? What are they plotting?

Maybe you’ll only have a few visual hallucinations today; a rodent running across the living room floor that makes you jump, heart pounding. A spider crawls right next to you on the arm of the sofa, causing you to drop the laptop in shock. Maybe a man in the distance walking towards you, who when you next look has vanished.

Maybe you only have mild paranoid thoughts; that van *is* watching me, slowing down, following me. My house *is* bugged. Everyone you see out and about is staring at you, acting suspicious.

That is you on a good day.

Lets say you have a week of good days – do you honestly think you could cope with seven days of that; seven days of whispers, visual ‘glitches’, paranoia?! It’s endless, exhausting.

Now imagine the bad days. The bad days are much, much worse.

Days of voices whispering to you that you are being poisoned, that if that person crosses the road in the next few seconds it’s proof they are trying to kill you. Voices in the distance talking to each other about how pathetic you are, or how they’re planning to hurt you.

Visual hallucinations of children kneeling in the road as cars speed towards them.

A meteor hitting the earth as you walk your dog in the dark; causing you to cry hysterically because you know you’re about to die and all you want is more time to tell your partner you love him.

Coming back off a dog walk and seeing someone standing in your living room, staring out at you – you knew they were in your house, but what to do now?!

To you, it is real – you know it is real and so you don’t question it.

~ Then we have the anxiety, the panic

I don’t know which is harder to live with.

The anxiety fills your mind, day after day, 24/7. Worrying about things that could happen now – your dog attacked on a walk; your partner falling and cracking his head open; a car veering off the road and plowing into the love of your life; a stranger going on a murderous rampage; and on and on and on…

but also worrying about things that are years away – what will happen when I die of old age, and my partner is alone? Or what if my partner dies and I’m alone? What will happen when we’re 80 years old; where will we live? Will we still be together? Will I have cancer by the time I’m 35? Will my partner have a heart attack when he’s 50? In two years time will one of my parents have cancer?

…and on, and on, and on.

You try all sorts to calm the anxiety, until you have rituals you must follow otherwise someone will get hurt…you have to tap things, touch things, step on things a certain number of times…in the house it’s maybe not so bad, but out the house the rituals make it hard to concentrate on anything else.

Sometimes the anxiety is replaced by panic.

You don’t know what you’re panicking about, but terror fills you. You can’t move, you can’t breathe, you can’t do anything. When your partner asks you what’s wrong, how you feel – you can’t reply. When you try talk you only gasp for air and cry.

The panic is urgent, end-of-the-world urgent, and you know you need to kill yourself. Otherwise it will never end, this cycle of misery, this terror.

Just imagine living with that day after day after day

You can’t, can you? Unless you have been through it, you can’t possibly imagine it. Maybe you think you can, maybe you think it’s not so bad – YOU DON’T HAVE A CLUE.

Don’t tell me things will get better, because they might not. In seven years things are worse than I could have ever imagined.

Don’t tell me suicide isn’t the answer – could YOU live like this?

Don’t tell me I ‘just’ need to do something – just try a medication whose side effects terrify me; just get a job because it’ll add “strings to my bow”; just go to the appointments I’m terrified of when I already can’t leave the house – how about you just don’t say those things!

And finally, don’t tell me to buck up, or pull myself together – that is a flat-out insult and you have no idea the hell I am living.

Sometimes (most times) I don’t need you to give me advice; your advice is harsh, or it doesn’t make sense, it takes things for granted, because you don’t understand what I’m going through. Sometimes I just need you to listen.

My life at the moment should not count as a life.

The fact I am still here is a miracle; I haven’t yet given up.

10

Today is a bad day

Depression, anxiety and hopelessness are already being rated 10/10 on the mood chart today.

It’s one of *those* days, I feel like utter shit.

I need to be careful today, as I could easily risk an impulsive suicide attempt…I’m in a lot of distress, suicide looks good, but I want my suicide to be planned and gentle…whenever I impulsively try and kill myself it goes badly; obviously, I’ve never succeeded. Ha, weak joke.

I could self-harm to try ease any of this shit, but my self-harm urges are weird at the moment…I want to *really* hurt myself. Like breaking bones. Which would result in a hospital visit, a long recovery time, and being one-handed would make life harder for my partner and my dogs. So no.

I could go to A&E to see if they could / would help, but I can’t deal with having a bad experience or having to see Crisis Team.

I want this to end.

I. Just. Want. Help.

0

Ignore me, I look fine

Anon here – this is something I struggle with, massively.

I am bad at showing how I feel, especially how badly I feel. Around strangers, or friends I don’t know very well, I will almost always seem completely fine…I remember as a teen walking to a viaduct to commit suicide, and someone stopping and asking me for directions – I was able to talk to them like a pro, they wouldn’t have had a clue…twenty minutes later someone was asking me if I was okay and talking me off the edge of a viaduct.

This is a huge issue with professionals as even when I am dangerously depressed and there’s a real risk to my life, I am sat opposite them chatting and answering questions calmly.

With my parents I will never show them how I’m doing; with them I’m always energetic, talkative and funny…it’s exhausting. Sometimes cracks may show ever so slightly (maybe I get annoyed easily or am slightly quieter than usual), but I can gloss over them and cover them with my mask.

Even with my partner, who I am closer to than anybody else, it doesn’t show how I’m doing unless I am at my fucking worst.

The past few days I’ve been a wreck; mind-numbing sadness and despair, constant thoughts of suicide, hopelessness and desolation.

There have been moments where Gog has been aware something is off and I’m not doing good, but he hasn’t a clue how bad it has been, not really.

I’ve tried dropping hints, because I *want* him to understand and be aware, but…he’s not very good with hints 😛

Last night I showed him my mood chart thinking that would help –  I’ve rated 9 on the suicide scale these past few days – but because I seemed fine when I was showing him it, he didn’t get the significance.

Tonight he was about to take our puppy for a walk, and I was torn…part of me wanted to have a slapdash suicide attempt; the other half wanted to hold out and plan it better – but how could I tell him when it’s something I struggle with so much?

I ended up typing “I’m planning to od” on the laptop and turning the screen to him.

That broke down the walls; it got him to understand I really wasn’t doing good and start asking questions, and it enabled me to answer honestly and feel understood and relieved.

Sometimes people really want to talk about how they’re feeling, and help others understand, but they have no idea how to get the ball rolling

I’ve reached a point where I know suicide is the answer…I’ve weighed up the pros and cons and thought a long time about it. I’m not rushing it, I’m not sure when / if I’ll go through with it, but I am sure it would be the right thing to do.

If someone presented me with a button right now and said “if you push this you will immediately and painlessly die” I wouldn’t do it, this is not an impulse thing…

It’s hard to explain.

Right now I am not living, not really. I HATE being told ‘things will get better’ – they might not, you don’t know that. I first experienced depression around the age of 8 and since then it has gotten worse. I first experienced Bipolar symptoms when I was 19, and in seven years it’s now fantastically worse.

I haven’t been stable for around three years; I am not living my life, I am having a shit time and I don’t see why I should carry on living because other people tell me to.

Again, I am not going to commit suicide any time soon.

The urge is there, the thoughts are constant, but I am being cautious. There’s no rush.

0

How’s my mood…?

I woke up early today, but I’d still had a decent amount of sleep.

I had about 8 hours in total…that’s somewhere in between the ‘you’re depressed’ 12+ hours, the ‘you’re stable’ 9-10, and the ‘you’re manic’ 2-6 haha 🙂

I managed to settle and do a few things when I woke up. Gog woke up a few hours later; he recently said he thought I seemed pretty damn manic at the time – apparently I was talking very fast, laughing a lot, extremely bored and active – bounding from one thing to the next.

That surprised me because I hadn’t cottoned on to that at all.

We took our dog on a huge walk which killed a few hours, then when we got back home we had our puppy out. I edited all the photos from the walk, posted them some places, played with the pup and then me and Gog ate. I asked Gog how my mood seemed to him throughout the day, and he wasn’t sure. Bit of this, bit of that.

Working out what my mood is, or what’s going on inside my head, is so hard sometimes. I don’t understand it and I can’t do it anymore…moods used to be so easy to determine (depressed, stable, manic, depressed, stable; we knew them ) but now they are monsters.

Am I depressed now or am I manic? What about when my mood seems fine but I’m still hallucinating?

What the hell is happening? I’m tired.

The fleeting thoughts of suicide are still there. I don’t even feel that bad, but they’re there – kill yourself before it gets worse, or you’re sick of all this, this is no life. Just end it.

I’m not actively suicidal, I’m not planning anything. I just have these fleeting thoughts, and my head is trying to convince me it’s the best decision I could ever make…and it is damn convincing! I am tired, and I am fed up. I have been battling a severe illness for 7+ years now, and in that time it has evolved and gotten worse and worse. This IS no life.

But I won’t kill myself. I won’t leave Gog. I could kill myself if it wasn’t for him.

</ramble>

2

A yoyo on a rollercoaster

**suicide triggers**

I’m so tired of feeling like this.

My mood is following a distressing pattern at the moment. I feel low, I feel lower, I feel lowest. I cry hysterically, am overwhelmed with anxiety, and accept the fact I am going to commit suicide. I plan it, think about it, am terrified by it.

Then after this utter breakdown the next day I feel better. I have a day or maybe even two where I feel okay, feel good even, and then the blackness returns. My mood drops over a week or two and I hit rock bottom again.

Relentless depression and desperation.

About a week ago was the first time in months, if not years, that I thought I was actually going to kill myself. I had this horrible realisation that I was at the point where I would plan and go through the act. I was hit with a wave of terror for Gog who I would be leaving behind.

Normally when I have thoughts of suicide I want the pain to stop. Sometimes, after weeks of suicidal thoughts, I might impulsively act on them…but it isn’t normally planned, it’s a spur of the moment ”grab whatever’s available and end the agony” type thing.

So it was scary to sit there with tears pouring down my face and carefully, numbly, think through details on how best to kill myself…What date should I kill myself on? How would I get away from Gog? Would I leave a note; if so what would I say? It’s a terrifying thing to plan, but sometimes there are no options left and you don’t have the strength to carry on.

Yesterday was a good day; there was laughter and love. Today, for absolutely no reason, I am back to feeling hopeless whilst suicidal thoughts swirl around my head.

Please do not tell me things will get better, I don’t think it would be helpful right now.

I have battled suicidal urges for over fifteen years, since I was a young child. My illness is worse than it has ever been. I haven’t had any stable periods for several years so it’s far, far too difficult to imagine things getting better because they’ve only ever got worse.

Even when I have happier / more stable times, such as before full blown mania, I still know at the back of my mind that the more extreme symptoms are coming and, after the manic episode is over, the crushing depression.

I’ll keep on fighting because that’s what I do. It’s what Gog wants me to do. But I am teetering on the edge.