Suicide

Today came around. Again….

It always rains in WeeGee land on 19th September.

To be fair, I don’t know if it actually always rains, or if my memory just thinks it always rains, but it very definitely rained today and since that fits with my pre-conceived notions of what today should feel like I’m going to go with it.

It’s been fifteen years since the 19th September first meant anything to me. Fifteen years is a long time. It’s so long that I can’t properly remember the person I was back then. It’s so long ago that my friends are different, that my life is different, and that whatever it was I hoped and dreamed of at the time is long forgotten and given up on. I’m a grown up now – it’s all behind me – none of what mattered then matters now. Life moves on, people change, you stop looking for the big answers and start dealing with the little questions one by one.

Today shouldn’t mean anything to me. It’s an anniversary of something that only I remember and that has no meaningful impact on my life now. Like I said, life moves on.

Every year, the 19th September comes around. I dread it for weeks, and then it comes around and before I know it, it’s over with. I try to mark it, but I never manage to mark it well enough because…. Well, because – how do you mark a thing you want to remember but don’t want to acknowledge out loud?

As it goes, the best I can do is to withdraw into my own head for the day. All I can do is make today about today – I can let my thoughts rest on things I don’t otherwise let them rest on – I can stop for a moment and I can let everything that has happened in the last 15 years settle around me.

I’ll wake up tomorrow and today will be over with. That’s the beauty of it, isn’t it? Today doesn’t matter because tomorrow is on the way.

What you’ve lost is less important than what you have. Hope is important.

Love you all lots, like jelly tots,

WeeGee xxxxx

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And so I kept living

I wrote this post to mark World Suicide Prevention Day 2016, and it perhaps unsurprisingly, discusses suicide. Please scroll on past if that might put you in a difficult position. If you need help right now – pick up the phone, send an email (feel free to use my contact me form – I’m here, I won’t judge) knock on a door, head to A&E (ER). Take care of yourself xoxox

 —- 

Four years ago, I wrote this post to mark World Suicide Prevention Day 2012. So many things have changed in the years that have intervened – for me, for the people I love, and in the world – but sadly, one thing hasn’t changed much at all: the figures on suicide around the world.

According to the World Health Organisation an estimated 800,000 people worldwide lose their lives to suicide every year. It’s difficult for me to imagine the human picture behind a figure like that so I tried to break it down – it averages at around 90 people every hour; or three people every two minutes. In the time it hasn’t taken me to write this post nearly 100 people have taken their own lives. For every person who dies by suicide, another three people make an attempt on their life. So, in the time it has taken me to write this post 400 people have found themselves willing themselves out of the world. Sometimes, there are no words for how awful the human picture actually is.

Here in the UK, the picture is no less discouraging. In 2014 (the most recent year for which figures from the Samaritans are available) some 6581 people lost their lives to suicide in the UK and ROI – the highest number of men since 2005 and of women since 2011. Whichever way you look at it, the number of people who die at their own hand in the UK has increased – I don’t know whether that makes me more sad or angry, but I don’t suppose it really matters right now. I am a suicide survivor, and as hard as it is to say THAT is what matters to me right now.

As a rule, we still find it difficult to talk about suicide and that’s a huge problem because one of the best means of defence we have is talking about it.

Here’s what I know:

  • Talking about suicidal feelings gives you the space to examine them, outside of your own head.
  • Talking about suicidal feelings helps to remind you that you are never alone with them.
  • Talking about suicidal feelings gives you a distraction from the actions that are gathering ever more momentum in your mind.
  • Talking about suicidal feelings helps us to remember – above all else – that it’s okay to talk about suicide.

So – at the risk of repeating myself: I am a suicide survivor, and I am not ashamed. There have been times in my life that I wished not to have life anymore – it wasn’t ever that I wanted to be dead, more that I didn’t want to be alive anymore. The two things have always been, and remain, very different to my mind. The feelings that I had at those times don’t make a lot of sense to me right now but I remember the desperation, and hopelessness, fear and pain. I remember those things in my bones and in my heart – I carry them with me and use them to remind me that whatever happens, and however I feel: my life is worth having. And so I choose to live. I choose it every single god damn day.

Suicide is complex – nobody knows that better than I. But suicide is also, almost always, preventable. There is work to be done and we need to look to each other – to our family and friends, to our politicians, our media, our healthcare professionals – to make it happen. Most importantly of all we need to keep on finding the courage to talk about it, until all the shame is banished and until every single person who thinks they are lost is  in no doubt that we are ALL here for them, and that we are here to get them through.

I end, as I did four years ago, with some words that mean the world to me – words that have lifted my heart and carried it for me, words that have comforted me, words that have saved my life:

“Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.”

Lady Chatterley’s Lover. DH Lawrence

Keep your lights burning brightly, my friends. And remember, it’s good to talk.

Love you all lots, like a million and one jelly tots – WeeGee xoxoxo

wsp

Burning my very special little candle, in support and solidarity and hope

On where I am now

Since last I wrote a whole lot of time has passed. Some of it has been happy and some of it has been sad and some of it has been other things – things I don’t have a name for yet – things that don’t quite fit into the ready made categories we’ve got set out for them.

Also – I haven’t been eating right. It’s a difficult subject to tackle, and I’ve thought long and hard about how to write about it. I don’t want to end up with some kind of ‘pro ana’ blog on my hands because even at my worst I was never about encouraging that kind of shit. Even at my worst, and most poorly all I really ever wanted to do was leave that nonsense behind.

Still. YOU ARE WHERE YOU ARE. Of all the lessons I’ve learned, that’s the most valuable and important. You can only ever deal with what’s in front of you.

Okay – so what’s in front of me? Lots of meals that I don’t want to eat for reasons that I couldn’t explain to you if I wanted to. But, by the way, I don’t want to explain myself anyway. Take it all with a pinch of salt but I mostly couldn’t give a fuck one way or the other.

Here’s the truth. I’m not as ‘thin’ as I used to be. The trouble is that ‘thin’ is the only thing I’ve ever achieved. The thinnest I was? That was the best I was. The thinnest I was – that was the person I want to be, the person I should be. The thinnest I was – that was the best I ever was.

In so many ways I know that everything I’ve said is nonsense. It’s nonsense and bullshit and airy-fairy rubbish. At the same time I AM WHERE I AM.

And I don’t know where to go from here.

Love you lots like jelly tots xoxox

One for sorrow

Earlier today I was watching a magpie going about his business. You know? That single solitary magpie that makes your heart sink and fills you with a strange sense of dread even though there isn’t a superstitious bone in your body? ‘One for sorrow’ I thought, ‘ONE FOR SORROW’ and somehow, in that moment, I felt like I had accidentally stumbled upon the meaning of life. 
What? Too melodramatic you say? A little self indulgent? I don’t suppose I can argue with that….

  
Safe to say that it hasn’t really been plain sailing weather here in WeeGee land of late. Truth told things have been pretty fucking torrid although it is important to note that I haven’t once thought about jumping out the window. This, by the way, is how looking on the bright side goes at the moment: I may well be coming apart at the seams but hey! At least I haven’t spent any time sizing up the light fittings. 

I feel separate from the things that are going on around me. I know that I am here and I know that ‘things’ are going on around me. What I don’t know is how in the name of fuck I go about connecting the two. There are things and then there is me and never the twain shall meet. It’s not so much that I don’t care (even though mostly, I don’t) – it’s more that I have no part to play in any of this because I’m not exactly here; I’m just skulking about on the sidelines feeling detached and wishing the whole world would go away and leave me in peace.

  
More than anything, I’m struggling with guilt because what right do I have to fall apart right now? I’m lucky: my life is mostly charmed and nothing terrible has happened to me. I know people – I CARE about people – who haven’t had a lot of luck, who don’t live such a charmed life and who are coming to terms with all kinds of grief and pain. Christ, I know someone who doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from and who may not have a roof over their head tonight. So how the fuck can can this be happening to me – what right do I have to feel like the sky is falling in and that nothing will ever be the same again? Shit. The worse thing likely to happen in my life this weekend is going to fucking Waitrose and discovering they’ve still run out of the ONLY brand of cat litter my little prince of a cat is willing to pee on at the moment……

  
I don’t think I’ve felt this crazy since the last time I went bat shit crazy. That was a long time ago now but, man, it was tough. That said, I guess the thing for me to remember is that I got through it. I came out the other side – my life was just about in tact and I started again. Most importantly of all, the life I landed in after I was bat shit crazy was infinitely better than the life I was living before I was bat shit crazy. I learned a lot about myself and it was okay in the end and I guess these things are sent to try us….and all that jazz.
For now, we’re back to the old drill here in WeeGee land. One foot in front of the other in front of the other in front of the other until you don’t even realise you’re doing it anymore. That’s how this works and that’s what you do – I know the drill of old and it hasn’t failed me yet.

  
I end with a song, in the time honoured WeeGee land tradition. It doesn’t mean anything. I just like it, a guilty pleasure, I guess.  

Love you all lots like jelly tots,

WeeGee

PS – I’m sorry the images are all different sizes. It offends my sensibilities too but I’m on an iPad and I can’t edit them properly xxxx

 

If I could talk I’d tell you 

Since last I wrote it’s all been coming up WeeGee. I love the way that happens – you know, the way that even though it all seems arid and bare, green shoots manage to appear and suddenly, it all feels okay again. Life shuffles along, things get better, hope is important………

Last month was hard. It was hard on my brain but it was way harder on my heart. So often I’m told that my ‘problems’ live in my head but you know, the more the more I think about it and the more I feel it, the more I think that really the problem has more to do with my heart than anything else. Every time September comes around the thing that I have to deal with is a broken heart, not a broken head.

I’ve thought long and hard about whether I have any words for the heartbreak that September brought. I don’t. Not because the pain doesn’t deserve words, but because none of the words are good enough and because I can’t bring myself to say them and because somehow, even after all this time, I just can’t. If I could talk I’d tell you. But I can’t.

Of course, all of that matters because the things you don’t say matter even more than the things you do say. Fine. I’m going to leave it at that. There are things that I don’t, or won’t (or can’t) say out loud. Those are the most important things of all and they become no less important if I stay quiet.

I don’t have to shout about it for it to be important. The opposite of shame is NOT pride. It still matters if the whole world doesn’t know about it. Most of my heartbreak is quiet and introverted and none of any other fucker’s business. Still. My heartbreak, or the pain in my heart, or the pain in my head – adds up to an illness, in the same way that any other illness does.

I write about it because it makes me feel better, and because it allows me to connect. I don’t write about it because I want to be a spokesperson, or an ambassador or because I think that my experience of ill mental health ought to serve as anything other than one girl writing her life, if anyone cares to read it.

Here’s the thing, at least as I see it. Sometimes it’s hard, and sometimes I love it. I feel responsible for the life I have, to make the most I can of it. But sometimes I can barely find my way through it. I want to survive and I want to do it quietly. I want it to be okay to feel depressed or a little manic, or separated from the world. I want to feel okay but I want to know that my place in the world is the same if I don’t feel okay.

I didn’t choose poor mental health.

I didn’t choose depression. I didn’t choose hypomania. I didn’t choose an eating disorder. I didn’t choose any of the things I got, but I got them. And I live with them.

If I could talk I’d tell you all about the life that I’ve had. But I can’t.

I’m not ready to talk yet….

Meanwhile in other news there really is nothing I can add. Nothing else to report save that I love you all lots, like jelly tots

WeeGee xoxoxo

WeeGee’s no nonsense guide to surviving a serious case of the doomy gloomies

The important bit at the beginning

—–

First thing’s first – you need to know that this post makes a (tongue in cheek) mention of suicide and suicidal thoughts. Please be aware of the subject matter and proceed with a level of caution appropriate to your state of mind.

If you need help with thoughts that put you at risk of harm please get in touch with someone. ANYONE will do, but contacting the Samaritans is as good a place as any to start.

The end of the important bit at the beginning.

 —–

This post began life as an on-going conversation with my psychotherapist, Mrs Mountain. I have fortnightly appointments with Mrs Mountain* and we talk about all the mental things that live in my head so I can figure out how best to live alongside them. For the past few months we’ve talked a lot about reducing the impact of any future ‘bad patches’ on my life, or in other words, we’ve been making a grand plan for the next time WeeGee goes bananas. It looks a bit like this:

WeeGee’s no nonsense guide to surviving a serious case of the doomy gloomies

  1. Don’t kill yourself

It has been scientifically proven that killing yourself dramatically reduces your chances of surviving, ergo, if you hope to survive a serious case of the doomy gloomies it is VERY IMPORTANT that you don’t kill yourself. The best way to avoid killing yourself is to NEVER, EVER try to kill yourself: no matter what your broken brain is telling you, no matter how easy it seems, no matter how desperate you feel.

The simple fact of the matter is that you will NOT feel like killing yourself forever, because the feeling you have is like all of the other feelings you’ve ever had: temporary. Being dead, on the other hand, is not temporary at all – in fact, being dead is just about as permanent as it gets.

The doomy gloomies suck, for sure, but being dead is WAY suckier and, unlike the doomy gloomies, being dead won’t go away.

Don't kill yourself

  1. Don’t buy an Audi on hire purchase

Make no mistake about it: the doomy gloomies will fill your head full of nonsensical nonsense. And this nonsensical nonsense will make buying a brand new Audi on hire purchase – or giving your worldly possessions to a cat shelter; or running away to the circus; or embarking on a single-handed round the world trip in a homemade cardboard canoe – seem like a great idea.

Of course any one, or indeed all of these ideas may be COMPLETELY AWESOME, but while you’ve got a serious case of the doomy gloomies it really is best if you get a second opinion before you make any big decisions about your life.

You’ll have to live with your decisions long after the mental has left the building and it’ll be tough enough to put your life back together without having to worry about finding new homes for the 32 baby penguins you adopted because you thought they would take your mind off things.

bad decsion 1

  1. Don’t stick your head in a giant vat of red wine

Sorrows float, or in other words, you CANNOT drown a serious case of the doomy gloomies in gin and tonic.

Self-medicating is tempting and, for a little while, alcohol may well help you forget about the horror living in your head; it may even make you feel better for a time. The trouble is, any relief you get will be short lived because of that thing about sorrows floating. Add to that the impact that alcohol has on all kinds of important things like sleep, and appetite, and general state of mind and it doesn’t take much working out that far from helping with a serious case of the doomy gloomies, sticking your head in a giant vat of red wine is only going to make matters one hell of a lot worse in both the medium and longer term.

drunk 1

  1. You think therefore you’re mental

Whenever I get a serious case of the doomy gloomies I find myself wishing that I could find a way to make my brain stop. The doomy gloomy thoughts never stop, they just seem to rattle round getting louder, and more intrusive, and more distressing until it feels like they are going to explode out of my ears and into the atmosphere.

Needless to say, I’ve spent a long time searching for the elusive pause button but if I’m completely honest I don’t think it exists and since you can’t stop the thoughts the only thing for it is DISTRACTION.

There are all kinds of ways to distract yourself: I once spent an afternoon marching round my flat singing “I can do this, YES I CAN” to the tune of Bob the Builder and it worked a treat because I managed to not jump out the window.

It doesn’t really matter how you distract yourself, but when the thoughts start taking over it’s really important that you do SOMETHING:

  • Make a cup of tea
  • Take a shower
  • Watch TV (quiz shows are particularly good because they make you think about something different)
  • Clear out your wardrobe
  • Walk around the block
  • March around your flat singing “I can do this, YES I CAN” to the tune of Bob the Builder.

thinking

  1. It’s good to talk

Tell someone you are in the midst of a really serious case of the doomy gloomies because it shouldn’t be a secret, and because they might have something sensible to say, and because – despite what your brain is telling you – YOU DON’T NEED TO BE ALONE WITH THE DOOMY GLOOMIES.

If you only do one thing: tell someone about it because, after all, it’s good to talk.

not alone

  1. Look after your life

Of all the lessons I’ve learned about surviving a serious case of the doomy gloomies this one is by far the most valuable:

Keep on doing all the right things, even if it doesn’t feel like doing all the right things is helping, because eventually all the right things WILL come together and help.

As a bare minimum surviving a serious case of the doomy gloomies means:

  • Keeping yourself nourished: you feel doubly mental when you’re hungry.
  • Getting enough rest: the doomy gloomies are exhausting so give yourself a chance
  • Taking basic care of yourself: showers, fresh air and exercise KICK DOOMY GLOOMIES IN THE GONADS.
  • Taking your prescription meds: White coat dudes know what they’re talking about
  • Keeping a roof over your head and paying the bills: because ADULT and because roofs are nice.

You need to take whatever energy you have and make sure these things keep happening. Trust me on this – make a checklist, take all day to do it, get help if you need to, but, no matter what you do, MAKE SURE THESE THINGS keep happening.

Do the right thing

  1. Start again tomorrow

Tomorrow always comes – it doesn’t always feel better, but it arrives without fail and it gives you a great big ginormous chance to start over again. Wherever the doomy gloomies took you today, draw a line under it and take your chance tomorrow. Start again, keep on keeping on, don’t give up and HOLD ON TIGHT. You’ve got a life time’s worth of tomorrows to play with and there’s NOTHING the doomy gloomies can do to change that

Tomorrow

Love you all lots like jelly tots,

WeeGee xoxox

*If you’re wondering how I swung that on the NHS I didn’t. But that’s a whole other story.

I didn’t expect perfect….

Hello there you lovely people you – how’s it all going? I hope it’s all happy and shiny and sparkly, or, at the very least, calm where you are?

Before we go any further I suppose we should get something out of the way. It’s the middle of the night where I am as I write. I’m guessing that all the sensible people in the UK are already asleep, or at least if they’re not, they’re probably not writing blog posts but hey – nuts to convention. Insomnia does as it pleases and I’m not in the mood for arguing.

I think it would be fair to say that I’m a little bouncy and excitable. I also think it would be fair to say that my bouncy and excitable demeanour is playing at least a small part in the fact that I’m still awake. On the one hand I know that’s a little bit of a problem. On the other hand, if you’d been to see this guy tonight, and you loved him as much as I do, you’d probably be just as bouncy and excitable as I am. Forgive the crap acoustics:

My last few posts have been a bit miserable haven’t they? Thing is, as miserable as I might have been at the time of writing those posts I don’t think ‘miserable’ gives an accurate representation of what’s been going on. Not really. I mean I’ve been up against my brain, and things changing, and some kind of massive and irrational fear of being happy….. But then there’s the other side of the coin to consider.

Looking at things now I think that maybe there are things to worry about* and things to be unsure about** and maybe even things that I wish I’d done differently*** But all of that aside there are many things to be glad about, and to look forward to, and generally not get all bloomin miserable about. This by the way is me looking on the bright side and ABSOLUTELY meaning it.

The exciting news is that I’m moving in with Mr Awesome Thing Number Five. I know, right?! Of course it’s scary to go from where I am, in my own little flat, with my own little cat and with no-one to interfere to actually living with another human being. The thing is I really feel like we’re building something together. We’re not just getting ready to share a place, we’re kinda getting ready to share something bigger than that. Thing is – I’m easily scared and so that seems very scary, but before that, if I can just let myself it feels very exciting.

I suppose that sort of sums up the other side of the coin. I really am struggling to find my way through the fog but I’ve a reason to get through it and so I’m definitely going to do my best. I think I’m learning that when it comes to being alive perfect really doesn’t exist. But actually, that doesn’t matter too much at all anyway.

Perfect is something you didn’t expect it to be.

Meanwhile in other news – oh bums I’ve got nothing. Nothing else to report save that I love you all lots. Like jelly tots.

WeeGee xxx

*aren’t there always

**which is just the same as worrying.

***as is this

Not the post I thought

I can’t quite believe the amount of time that’s passed between today and my last post. I didn’t mean for it to turn out this way – I’ve had so much to say. I just didn’t know how to say it. I think we might have arrived at the story of my life.

My head’s pretty jumbled up right now. I’m a little bit AWESOME insofar as that I’m full of good ideas. And what’s wrong with being full of good ideas? I sorta know the downside….. And I’m scared of myself. Of course I am. Awesome is exciting but I just want the steady life.

This isn’t the post I thought I’d write.

Okay.

I’m better than I’ve ever been. I’m not jumping out of any windows, or hurting myself, or trying to get away.

Truly though? I’m not okay. I’m not coping and life is tough and my brain won’t play.

But I don’t know what I wanted.

Hmmm

Not ready yet

You can usually get a pretty reliable sense of what’s going on in my head by looking at the music I’m listening to. Right now I’m on Radiohead, The Smiths, Jeff Buckley and Elliot Smith which is really just to say it isn’t exactly jolly o’clock here in WeeGee land. Here’s a song that sums it all up at the moment:

On the face of it, it all started last week but now I come to think of it I can see that this has been sneaking up on me for a long time because you can only turn the other cheek for so long. There’s no good to be found in trying to pretend.

I’ve been trying to pretend that everything is okay but everything is not okay. The worst of it is that I don’t know how to go about making everything okay again. Running away might help, but it isn’t exactly a sensible option….. Maybe things aren’t meant to be okay, not for me anyway.

I can’t tell you too much about what’s going on – it wouldn’t be fair on the people and the things that are involved. All I can really say is that I find myself in a situation, which circumstances aren’t helping. I know that if the circumstances went away the situation would be better which, by the way, seems to be what everyone wants. But nobody seems to want to help me with the circumstances and so we’re stuck with the situation. There is no help and there is no end.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a ‘problem’ What with one thing or another I’m always the difficult one, the one who does things the long way round, the one who doesn’t quite ‘fit’. I’m tired of being nothing other than a problem. It doesn’t seem to matter where I manage to get to – there’s always something waiting to pull the rug from under my feet. It’s usually my brain. Why isn’t my brain on my side?

I frighten myself when I feel like this mostly because I don’t want to feel like this. But what do you do when there’s a war in your brain, and you’re always the problem, and when there is no help and no end?

How do you eat an elephant? Bite by bite…..

Love you all lots like jelly tots,

WeeGee xoxoxo

Boo fucking hoo

I’m just going to have to face up to it. You know that birthday post I’ve been promising? Well I’m afraid it isn’t going to happen. The birthday in itself was completely AWESOME, full of Mr Awesome Thing Number Five, and a sleepy little English town, and feeding baby penguins which shat in my shoe, and a visit from my parents and…… AWESOME birthday. The thing is, my birthday was a long time ago, and since then I’ve been feeling ALL OF THE FEELINGS and the recent past isn’t really something that I feel much like blogging about because I’m a bit lost in the here and now, which – let’s be honest – is a little better that being lost in the then and gone or the still to come and unknown. Am I sounding a little manic to you? I’m feeling a little turbo charged so I wouldn’t be surprised…..

I woke up this morning feeling a little bit disjointed, you know? Like my brain wasn’t attached to my body anymore. I used to get that all the time – that feeling that my brain was a completely separate entity from ‘me’. Experiencing it now, for the first time in a while, I’m struck by how little sense it makes. I’m inextricably connected to my brain so how come it sometimes feels so ‘other’ every once in a while? The answer used to be ALIEN but that feels a bit unsatisfactory today. I believe myself to be lots of things but I don’t really believe myself to be an alien. I mean, it would be convenient, and it would explain an awful lot but being an alien would surely throw up even more questions than answers so it can’t possibly be the answer. Then again maybe I need to work through all of the questions and maybe being an alien isn’t as daft as it first sounds.

Still a bit turbo charged but not exactly AWESOME here. Alien brain strikes again?

I know that I’m not AWESOME because I don’t want to talk to most people. I don’t mind talking to some people but when I’m AWESOME I want to talk to everybody and as far as I’m concerned everybody can fuck right off. I can’t figure myself out right now so other people are a HUGE step too far. World. Shut. Your. Mouth.

I’ve written this post as it comes to me – stream of consciousness style. I’m just glad Mr Clever doesn’t get to read what I have to say here because I fear I’d wind up in trouble…..
WeeGee is not a happy WeeGee. Not at all. The brain is all broken and I’m a little bit angry and a little bit STOP because I’ve had enough…… Time for a song:

Booooo.

Love you lots like lovely jelly tots xxx