“Every action good or bad, has a repercussion that impacts something or someone, a chain reaction negative or positive.”
How does one begin telling their story, ultimate question that has been continuously on a never-ending loop in my head, forcing me to a decision? My story is a complex headache…. Not my words, the words of one professional opinion some years ago. I started writing my version of my bible when I was 28 years old, so I think I should start by sharing one of the first full consistent pieces of writing I was able to do, when I lost the ability to communicate verbally and written. This was one of the most scariest moments in my life and my families to date, followed by a more recent one 2 years later. I have also included a piece of writing after an appointment with a clinical psychiatrist,
My words are brutally honest at times as things only go wrong when I mince them. They are just my perspectives and insights into a world, at that moment. A world that becomes more confusing and complicated every day, what’s acceptable today may not be tomorrow, and what once was acceptable and learnt may now, not be. I struggle every day, fighting like everyone else to breathe, my journey just has more obstacles shone on in a different light, reflected back to you in the words I only know. Some people can do this naturally, a skill I admire and wish I could hurry and learn.
Sometimes my efforts feel pointless, then those I’m attached remind me I’m a survivor, just like you. Take one of my favourites I learnt through a course I studied, taken from morgens metaphors (not had the privilege delving into his story yet), the be like a living organism metaphor, which in essence means constantly evolving to the change around you. Not just relevant to business but everyday life for the entire human race in a society encouraging difference, diversity and dynamics you need to be open and susceptible to change
Back in Spring 2016 a lot of events contributed to one of the most traumatic episodes of my life to date, a major contributor to the already stacking up PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) traits, until I began learning a lot about many varied things I once was oblivious to. The difficulty in learning how to manipulate myself to handle the changes that seem to occur internally, an on-going journey of discoveries, is a detrimentally challenging one, at times.
Whatever happened in 2016 was an extreme vortex of emotions, a meltdown of all meltdowns where all levels of communication were unattainable, so I gave up even trying at points welcoming the black hole because it was easier than my reality. Whenever I did try and communicate it was never precipitated or received in the way it was intended, becoming pointless, when I did communicate everything was magnified worse in extreme ways. The loss in control was triggered by events well and truly out of one’s control, there is truth in the saying you can’t run from your past.
After an intensely surreal experience with a clinical psychiatrist, I was asked to keep a journal. I explained, in probably the worst verbal dialect, my sensory senses were through the roof, I had lost the ability to write and I truly had at the time, but because of this request I began writing and drawing again, if you can call it that. It was chaotic but understandable to me, titled ‘my bible’ to make it symbolically significant to me, started March 2016.
As I’m reflecting on these moments I’m going to write about them, as my bible was a go to whenever the thoughts in my head became too much and needed an out let, almost like a personal religion that brought comfort and hope. I was that far in the depths of my black hole, not just skating along the circumference, that too many times my body nearly gave up, mind, body and soul were not one. I think the clinical psychiatrist glanced at it when I took it in months late, her comments were along the lines of ‘good reflection, as tangled as my present’, and closed the book. That is the only time she set eyes on it, no one else appeared to be interested in the words written
I began writing in Spring 2016, quite symbolic, time of growth, new life, evolving with good old mother nature, a time of year the world becomes brighter and new life begins, another looped cycle of life. Personally, my favourite season is Autumn, but writing seems at its best and most reflective and useful in spring. Each diary entry reflection will have the date it was done and follow that pattern, so my blogs will be the dates I reflected on the writings. There’s a quote from a piece of writing that I once wrote that I want you to remember as you read the insights given into my life.
‘How a person interprets words depends on many factors to name but a few…. Their natural and unnatural environment, circumstances on which its heard, the emotional meaning, or message portrayed in projecting the word, may it be tone, style, word choices, body language, personal circumstances, past experiences, current knowledge…… The list can go on and on, but the point is words are pointless if they confuse, misguide, hurt, destroy……if you don’t understand, if you don’t give your full attention and truly listen to what’s been said, to imply and interpret the words heard in a way that is not meant……then how can you understand, how can anyone help…. Sum it up you REBEL or OBEY against a fight that will never be eliminated just changed from minority to majority is awareness vs Ignorance.’
What I hope to achieve is help, for all individuals needing it, and together we can gain better insight into individuality. By understanding and preventing stigmas, that these labels are in no way concrete they are a way to generalised through a lot of research, time, and experience. It is a way to place information into categories and sub categories that are easier and easier to understand and communicate to all levels of society. This first week of July 2016 entries seem to be reflecting on the entries written so far, so I’m going to include them here in the order and date they were written.
My diary entries are to follow, 3 are about the sections named above as I reflect over what has been written into them in the months leading up to the entries. I thought I would also include a Diary entry from March 2016 and an entry written after a psychiatrists appointment. My diary entries are to follow, 3 are about the sections named above as I reflect over what has been written into them in the months leading up to the entries. I thought I would also include a Diary entry from March 2016 and an entry written after a psychiatrists appointment.
23/03/2016 An attempt at writing again
10:37am – 11:15am
Concentration is border lining on impossible now. Quetiapine in one sense has helped but it’s like it’s blocking half my brain and is pulling me further and further into darkness. I feel so low and just want to cry my heart out. I’m losing hope, every day I must be conscious with my word choices and actions but right now my scales are so unbalanced, body, brain and mouth just won’t work together. This is the first time in months I have been able to put pen to paper. I have battled more than half my life with this ‘illness’ but my old coping mechanisms have no relevance in my life just now. If I lose concentration for just 1 second, my train of thought just disappears and I’m unable to remember what was happening. I have not felt this out of control since I was 11-12ish when I took my over dose, my mums eyes will always haunt me. The difference this time is I am an adult and I have managed to raise 2 amazing children and I will never commit suicide. I am not that selfish or cowardly (words are harsh but necessary at the time) as I once was in my deluded narrow outlook on life or flip that when I gave up on humanity. I try my 100% best everyday just to co-exist and I’m sick and tired of it. Mental health has changed so much but not nearly enough. I have never been an open book, learnt that at a young age with a punch in the face, or simply allowing others their own perception whilst with-holding mine (was easier that way). So, since the age of 8 I have created masks for every dimension of this ‘illness’ and blocked my traumas. But there are so many triggers now. Nobodies wiped my arse for me since I was 12, I was viciously bullied or misunderstood, creating problem after problem not understanding the consequences of my actions. My behaviour was so out of control, I’d come home it was like being interrogated. Nobody has ever been able to understand so I started running away and then my parents were put between a rock and a hard place, and I ended up in the system and even they didn’t help just a whole new bunch of traumatic events. I spent most of my time living on the streets, up or under trees, cornfields etc. Help was never available in any way that was of use, and I just became so numb and that is exactly how I am starting to feel again. All I do is survive I want to start living again. I’m naturally a reflective learner but I can feel myself putting my walls up. All the wrong meds this last year has put all my scars + pain + trauma out in the open this stops now
Take my mood stabiliser despite my fears
Try to stay in my present and take one day at a time
Accept the fact now I’m not taking very good care of myself
12/04/2016 Personality and ‘my bible’ explained
I’m going to start with one-word Personality which in turn creates a character. Is it the end or the start of a new thought process, beginning of a new sentence? Or the end of the previous? Well in this case the final full stop at the end of this sentence indicates a temporary break until I ponder over the words PERSONALITY
A personality is a person’s individuality and quirky character ,that defines the person’s identity therefore defining their personality. By altering the thought process, I have come to an understanding. I started with one-word personality which is a bold word which in favour should have an ending which for me, is ERASED
What I did today was get up, get dressed, went shopping and came home. After a meal, i wrote in this book with a new pen and some new paper, now let’s see if I can work out how we clean up my messy tangled Personality, with (A) start + (B) Tangle = (C) End / (A) past (b) present = (C) future
This was the structure to the writings placed inside my ‘bible’
- My green section of my bible – Black and white (logical)
- Pink section – Black/White/Grey (Summary)
- The turquoise section – Black (Forma) (data) (Tasks)
- Blue section – Multi coloured (tangle)
4/07/2016 Pink section reflection so far
Yet again I seem to be at a loss for words. I have started with this section because it is one of the easiest. In this section it is obvious my moods are reflected in my writing. There is a lot of spelling mistakes, Grammar, different writing and wrong words but oh my that was hard. I told my Crisis Nurse once…. Sorry lost my thought process. Reading through, oh wait I remember what I was thinking. I told my Crisis nurse I always have a blind spot, where I’m not aware and was quite surprised at the things I’d wrote, that I have put to the back of my mind. So much has gone on but the best thing I have ever done was forcing myself to write and get back something that is my safety blanket. I thought I was writing for the sake of it, couldn’t be further from the truth. A lot of what Is written here are things that I was not capable of communicating for whatever reason and probably might never be. But to read it back has made me feel a sense of pride in myself and my family for being able to handle all that has happened. It was like therapy in a sense but was always so scared to read. This section is mild, the blue is the worst so easing myself into that one. I was in a really bad place and I’m lucky I’m alive yet again, but how many times can you cheat death, I don’t know and I don’t want to know. We’ve all came along way, my other half, Welfare and Housing officers, Crisis/CPN, Clinical psychiatrist, GP and friends have all helped to get me out of the dangerous, self-destructive place I was in. I will always be grateful and thankful for all their help and I’m glad I get to read and reflect, give myself time to pause on everything that has happened
05/07/2016 Green Section reflections so far
From reading this section, I can see more detail has been put. At the start of each section there was a labelling system of writing, but as things spiralled more and more out of control, I just started writing anywhere. Some bits are quite unsettling to read because my head was in a scary place, but writing about them was a brilliant idea, as reading through these has given me a clearer perception. I find it strange that my writing even reflects what is going on inside my head. The weight on my shoulders doesn’t feel so heavy. I have had a hard time trying to get better, but my moods are still quite uncontrolled. I take 600mg quetiapine a day, divided in to 3x daily to slow my brain down, 3 of what I call pixy Trixie’s to try handle the side effects from the quetiapine and 100mg Lamotrigine a day plus 7.5mg zopiclone to help with sleep. I rely a lot on meds at the moment just to live in my circumstances, I know how reliant I am on them because if I miss a dose my head just goes off on one. Can also tell by the way I talk, and act becomes apparent, others notice this and make me aware of this, so I take them. Seen my last bit of writing saying I burned down my first house but it was unfinished, so I will elaborate, I set it on fire so that I didn’t have to live there no more, I was young lost and confused. I’m surprised by my writing and how much I have been able to write. I have started a separate book for writing about my past, and only my past inside this book, written in a general journal where my writing requires no restrictions. The last entry in this section is dated May 20th 2016, so haven’t been writing in this section
04/07/2016 Blue Section reflections part 1
Oh my, haven’t even begun reading what’s still attached in this book. I remember ripping out a few pages I’d wrote a little while ago. These words were my first attempt at writings at the start It really is like the ramblings of a crazy person, my heads all over the bloody place. Confused mostly of communication, trying to get the right words to explain because I was saying all the wrong words and confusing everyone, these writings are from the 15th April, 2 weeks after hospital, in fact the first is dated 14th April but things had already started going unbalanced back in the year my son was born. When you read this and in my case, it just takes me back to an extremely embarrassing cringe stage which is upsetting and unsettling to read about. Just had to put this point down as was my thoughts on reading those loose bits of paper. The tangle in my brain where I have managed to draw and word on paper some of the stuff that was tangled but wow I really don’t know what else to say, just wow……
05/07/2016 Blue section reflections so far part 2
Just finished reading the last bits of the blue section. Clearly my moods have been more negative than positive. I need to remember where I was and where I am now. I have managed to reach a level of stability in some respects when it comes to my emotions. Reading this has put me in a place where even I must be proud of the fact, that together with my family, have managed to pull me out of one of the darkest and most lost places I have ever seen. Today is my appointment with my clinical psychiatrist and I’m never sure what to expect, because you only get a small amount of time with her then it’s over, months before you get to see her again.
06/07/2016 reflections after psychiatrist appointment
I had a better appointment today with my clinical psychiatrist, but it was intense. I struggled communicating at some points but overall it was a lot better. My lamotrigine I’ve learnt is a mood stabiliser. Since taking that it really helped prevent me from hitting the lows I was in, that could last for months. Before November which is my next appointment with my clinical psychiatrist I want to of filled this book, but I also want to finish the book I started where I only write about my past. Was glad to see that my writing was starting to improve, was noticeable when I began to read it. I know I am in a better place than I was before, and I really like my clinical psychiatrists because she is a thorough person when looking into what my condition is. I’m going to work on relaxing and reducing my stress levels. My past may be messy and messed up, but my present has barely any issues, that’s probably why my struggles and behaviours became more apparent, they were out of my realm of the ‘norm’. The level of quetiapine I must take is high, I’m wondering if I should begin reducing them down in the future when my body has adjusted, to the increase in the lamotrigine. My clinical psychiatrist hopefully, will now know roughly how or what the right way is to help me recover from everything that has happened. Trying to find positives about myself is something that I have always struggled with. I live a quiet life, the only issues I seem to have is from an ex that is not even mine. I could not predict, understand or control the actions of others or the outcome, because it was that insane with no logical or rationality, full of nothing but emotions. It was a really scary place so how I reacted was affected and influenced by my moods and having to stop all the meds I was taking. My anxiety was extremely high, to be honest I probably should have admitted myself into hospital the year before. I don’t blame anyone for my actions I take responsibility. With the help of CMHT (community mental health team) and the people closest to me I’m hoping I can bring back my confidence and like myself. People always seem to initially attract towards me because I am different, but eventually they will back off. I have great insight in people, but nobody likes their flaws out in the open. I have a bad habit of analysing people and trying to figure out why they are the way that they are. These types of people are not a constant and cannot usually handle constructive or a criticism of any type. I can find that hard myself especially when I was really depressed, in a way I probably use them as they are the type of people that want company from everyone and it’s quite clear they are never going to change their ways for the better. Right now, is quite challenging because I have a lot of past issues and traumas to work on. I can feel myself constantly putting up walls but at the same time more are getting knocked down. This is not going to be an easy journey but through all this I will have a better quality of life possibly, and that is worth its weight in gold, baby steps.
Writing is extremely useful as once you read it back it takes you through a period in your life that you can reflect on and get a better perspective of what’s been going on. I’ve been thinking a lot about my conversation with my clinical psychiatrist. It was so intense, and my brain raced a lot so got a little more tangled with my communication. I feel sluggish today, not too much energy but that’s just a little off, and by saying that I mean different, not myself, at times I question who I am, but I know I’m still here
A lot of issue highlighted are still the same and what I was told could help has never happened, yet again holds merit to that saying ‘don’t believe everything you hear or see.’ I’m going to end here and start this off another day from more entries from this particular journal. Thanks for reading.