When faced with my demons I clothe them and feed them…

Archive for April, 2018

An Inventory of my Faults

I was just backreading my blog and it sure does make embarrassing reading in places. But I show myself warts and all here, I let it all hang out whether in mania or depression. Less so when I hit the sweet, in between spot.

As I’ve said before it provides an invaluable record. And while I may have fewer regular readers and fewer commenters I still have some. I write it mainly for me though. I sound like an absolute asshole when I’m manic. Narcissistic in the extreme. And then there’s all the music videos, posted in the early mornings when sleep won’t come because I am manic. I could remove them all but it would take ages, and it’s as valuable a record as any because I can tell I was manic at the time instantly when I see one. It’s a certain ‘red flag’.

So how are things? Well I’m not totally out of the depression but it’s pretty mild now and mostly I feel fairly normal.

I can’t praise the Clarendon Recovery College enough. It’s been there for me these past few months when no one else was. It’s become a staple part of most of my days. There are always people that I know around. I know I can ask to talk to one of the staff if I need to even though I mostly don’t nowadays. Classes have started up again. The voluntary work there is a bit of a non starter because there just isn’t enough to do, it’s usually very quiet in the cafe.

But I don’t feel up to doing very much in any case. Sometimes I sit for long periods doing precisely nothing except possibly texting on my phone. It’s preferable to languishing in my own four walls all the time though that is still something of a comfort zone. At times it’s the only place I feel safe with the exception of the Clarendon.

I still have my text pals as I call them. One in particular I would count as a proper friend.

My finances have recovered, in fact I’m saving now. And I have to pay my carer so that is all the better. I also quite often get cabs here and there because I can’t face being out with all the people. Mild agorophobia.

Now that I’m better I’m looking at going down to visit my mum in Kent. I don’t know if I will stay there. Depends how strong I’m feeling.

I would like to have someone to cuddle. Cuddles are always good.

So why the title? Because this blog is humbling reading for me. It faces me with the reality of how I’ve been with myself and others. In AA and other 12 Step Groups the fourth step  instructs us to make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Well there’s one right here, I needn’t look any further. And it’s pretty comprehensive.

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How To Love Yourself

It’s the relationship with oneself that is paramount. You have to have one, and it has to be in decent shape. Otherwise it’s damn hard to relate to anyone else.

Today I have made a trifle, or at least I am in the process of making one. I have also bathed and washed my hair and got dressed in clean clothes. I had a text therapy session. I made breakfast, which was home made spelt bread with smashed avocado.  Later on I had some leftover takeaway Thai noodles with tofu and veggies. I spoke briefly with my housemate. I brushed my teeth.

So well done for all of that Louise. Well done for all of that. Well done for recovering your appetite and well done for making the bread the other day when your carer was here. Well done for all the times you have done laundry and hung it up to dry while wanting to die.

Well done for trying to make plans with people for the weekend while wanting to die. It doesn’t matter that none of them wanted to meet you. The point is, at least you tried.

And well done, Louise, for attempting to do voluntary work while wanting to die. Well done for putting yourself in a safe place (the Recovery College) and just sitting there for many hours to assuage the gnawing fear of solitude. Well done for all the small things you did for yourself while feeling subterranean.

I love you Louise. You are at heart a good person who does her best. You get out to give yourself sunlight, fresh air and exercise despite the anxiety of seeing people together and being alone and despite wanting to die. The fact that you’ve been indoors for three days straight doesn’t matter, you have your reasons for that (to see what it’s like and because the weather is lousy).

The wrong things you have done in your life, which are many, were largely done while you were out of your mind, and even though you are accountable for them you are not fully responsible for them unless you are also responsible for having bipolar disorder, which is doubtful. A lot of the transgressions were ones of neglect rather than flat-out abuse. Your son is paying the price not just for your deficiencies but because of society’s, your mother’s, the Children and Families Social Service and the haphazard way the cards of Life fell. And most importantly of all, his own. Only he can decide to change and start shaping up or getting himself the help he needs. The only way is up, for J.

It’s Lonely on the Bottom

I was just scrolling back to 2016 to see what the pattern of depression, stability and mania looked like. It seems that there were over three months of depression followed by about five or six of stability, followed by another manic high of about four months. So really, there was more stability than I had previously thought. And no mania lasting as long as that of 2015 which endured for eight months.

I hate to say this but regrettably I miss the mania. I miss how self-sufficient and strong I feel. Confident and fearless with others. But when I pause for a minute I know that stability is vastly preferable. It isn’t like being on drugs, no. But it’s when I truly feel recovered. And my finances recover. Everything recovers.

Well back to the present though. I am addicted to…texting. I know it sounds dumb, like a 13 year old girl. I know all that stuff about how real life friends are more valuable and I certainly do need more of those. I’m starting from close to zero. But I had a very special chat today that was better than therapy for letting me talk about the nature of my psychosis. The guy was so interested it really drew me out. He asked all the right probing questions.

I felt such relief from the appalling self-blame and rumination on the ruins of my life. That I just couldn’t seem to free myself from, I was caught in the net, helpless as a fish. I thought it might be temporary and dependent on access to my phone and it might be. I don’t know yet. But I like to think I am preparing to come out of this depressive phase.

I was due to visit my one close friend (yes, it’s come to that, sadly) today and had been absolutely dreading this long Bank Holiday weekend. But she then had family coming unexpectedly so that was off, another acquaintance cried off my offer to go for coffee, I’ve been dropped by another who I hoped was becoming a friend. It seemed like I was being universally shunned and it hurt like Hell.

The thing is, it’s only when I’m depressed that I so crave company because to be left alone is the enemy. I am the worst company for myself imaginable. Not that I am much better for anyone else. That’s probably why I was dropped I don’t know.

I have been so desperate for company that when a message comes up from the phone company I am heartened by the sound of the text tone. I am glad to see the Pest Control worker (yes, we had a mouse problem which they failed to solve and the mouse seemed to disappear by itself). I am glad for the ring of the phone even when it turns out to be someone from India. I am grateful to talk EVEN TO AN AUTOMATED MESSAGE on the phone. THAT’S how desperate and lonely this condition leaves me folks.

And one friend (he’ll know who he is in the unlikely event he reads this) has not been back to me via email and I think it’s because he’s had it up to here with my mania and inappropriateness alternating with my needy and abject depressive phases. I also asked him for money when I was broke because of S, which was unforgivable.

Not to mention my ex Richard completely ostracising me and refusing to even speak on the phone.

That’s a lot of shunning you must admit folks. A LOOOT of shunning. No wonder I am so keen to speak to my text pals acquired from reddit. And they shut down the subreddit Sanctioned Suicide which was quite a blow for many people undoubtedly.

Well my doctor has to bear some of the responsibility for discharging me from the service on a regime of precisely no meds whatsoever. That’s akin to sending a child from a tricycle to ride a proper bike with no stabilisers and no one to hold them up. I should never have been left with no meds, that’s ridiculous. If anything I should be on a depot injection to ensure I don’t stop taking the damn things while manic ever again.

Yeah it’s lonely both at the top and the bottom folks, and I should know.