Hello Darkness, My Old Friend: Part Four

 

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I messaged my sister and asked her if she got home OK. A few hours later, she replied. After some small talk, she asked me if I hated her. What? ! Where did that come from? “Of course I don’t hate you.” I typed. “I’m not trying to guilt trip you, but you broke my heart. I want my sister back.” She replied. Hmm. Which sister? The one who wanted to end her own life? The sister who hid her all consuming pain behind a cheery voice, whenever she called? The sister who’d died inside and was waiting for her body to catch up? The sister she hadn’t seen for two years (prior to the hospital visit), despite only living an hour and half away? The sister she made excuses to, whenever the subject of meeting up arose? The sister she actually didn’t really know? Instead of saying all of this, I just promised to get better. I meant what I said. Continue reading

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend: Part Three

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I was wobbly on my feet. My legs felt like jelly. I was in Intensive Care, so I figured my attempt was a near-success. I didn’t and still don’t remember what happened to me, immediately after I tried to kill myself. Bubbly nurse came back into the room and handed me a scrap of paper. There was a phone number written on it, for my local mental health crisis team. “Here’s the number the psych doctor promised you.” What a joke. Even I knew more phone numbers of organisations to call for support. And what’s more, that knowledge didn’t save me from myself. What did they think a scrap of paper, with one solitary phone number scribbled on it would do? Continue reading

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend: Part Two

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“I’ve been there, Caroline. I’ve been there.” My Dad repeated, his voice heavy with tears. My body felt like it was made of lead. I lifted my hand to my face. I had a breathing tube in my nose. It was tight around my face. I had canulas in both my wrists, and my left foot. The creases behind my elbows were bruised and punctured. Whoever had inserted the canulas, had obviously had a tough battle with my veins. Above my head, monitors beeped and pulsed. My left forefinger burned. I looked at it and saw that I had an oxygen monitor tightly clamped onto it. I felt naked. An ill fitting hospital gown covered the last shred of dignity I had left. Flashbacks of doctors and tubes and nurses flooded my brain. I lost consciousness again. Continue reading

Guest Blogger: Moody May

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Hi everyone and Happy New Year.

In my last post, I asked for fellow bloggers to write a guest post for Silent D And Me. I received a response from May of Moody May. I apologise May, for the delay in publishing your post. Thank you for sharing your experiences with myself and my readers.

I’ll hand you over to May. Please go over to her blog and send her some love.

Hey there. My name is May, and I am a 25 years-old female who currently resides in California, U.S.A. I am a call center agent during the week and an artist on the weekends. I have had a very nice life (by “normal” standards), but I have been struggling with mental illnesses since I was a child.

I have been diagnosed with and am treating for Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Agoraphobia. I take a variety of medications for those illnesses, which has stabilized me (for the most part). Without the medications I am utterly dysfunctional (such as the time I voluntarily checked myself into a psychiatric hospital).  

According to the National Institute of Mental Healthdepression affects 18% of the population in the United States alone, so I’m sure many can relate to this post.  

So, how do I, personally, cope with the effects of these mental illnesses? I am currently treating with a psychiatrist and take psychiatric medications prescribed by said psychiatrist, I use lavender essential oil or Nag Champa incense to calm myself, practice breathing techniques, meditate (when I am able), and sometimes just force myself to do something.  

I am interested to know what helps YOU. Please comment below what helps you deal with any psychiatric conditions you may have! 

Photo by Carli Jeen, courtesy of Unsplash

Guest Bloggers Wanted

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I recently did an interview for another blogger and one of the questions was: where do you see your blog in 5 years’ time? My response was: I obviously want to still be blogging, but I want to make my blog less about me and more about mental health as a whole. I don’t want my blog to be all about me, for a number of reasons. One of them is, my readers will only get one perspective on mental illness; when I want to cover all mental illnesses.

This is where you come in. I’ve already had a wonderful guest blogger on here (you can read Sandra Charron’s guest post here), and I want to invite more mental health bloggers to write for Silent D And Me.

So to cut a long story short, I’m extending an invitation to all you mental health warriors out there. If you’re interested in writing for my blog, you can either drop a comment below, or email me on: caroline.murphy70@googlemail.com

I hope to hear from you soon.

 

 

Photo by Alexis Brown, courtesy of Unsplash

Catching Up

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I have an apology to make. I’ve neglected my blog over the past two months. I hope you’re all well and have had a great Summer. You’ll probably be pleased to hear that I’m in a slightly better place, than I was when I wrote my last post. Things have been hectic, but productive; here at Silent D And Me headquarters. We spent the Summer visiting museums, sitting in the sunshine and generally spending quality time as a family. Oh, and we had our garden re-landscaped. It isn’t quite finished yet, but when it is; it will be our new sanctuary.

I haven’t totally neglected my writing, over the Summer. I’ve been working on one of my many other writing projects, and I’m currently trying to commit myself to a realistic deadline for completion. I’m thinking either January or February. I’ve also been doing a lot of reading, recently. I finished two books, and I’m halfway through reading the third. One of the books was a mental health book, which I will be writing a review for on here soon.

On the Family From Hell front, they’ve had a very eventful Summer. News filtered through to us, that one of my uncles was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Just like my uncle Alex, he passed away very shortly after the diagnosis. Although we would have liked to have been there to pay our respects, we didn’t attend his funeral. The sad thing is, in the act of trying to pay our respects; the whole thing would’ve become disrespectful. The family wouldn’t have kept their distance, or allowed us a quiet, dignified presence. As it turned out, one particular family member misbehaved at the funeral; without us having to be there. It was a strange feeling, to be honest. The faint strands of connection to my uncle’s passing were there, but we were also disconnected from it. My Dad felt it more than we did. After all, he’d lost another brother. So we grieved and paid our respects, in our own way. We haven’t heard from the rest of the family, and hopefully it will stay that way.

When my blog was last live, I wrote about the need to insert damage limitation measures into my life. As everyone who lives with a mental illness knows, we are permanently sitting on a narrow ledge; and the slightest thing could potentially throw us from it. To prevent this from happening, I’ve been aiming to bungee myself to the cliff behind me. I do this, by building positive things into my life. It’s hard to plan your suicide, when there’s so much to wake up for. It goes without saying, that my children are the main reason I wake up and face another day. But lest we forget, that depression is a pathological liar. When things get particularly bad, depression tells me that my children would be better off without me. It tells me that I’m a terrible mother, and I’m making my children miserable. Then I look at all the negative things around me, and agree that depression’s case is stronger than mine.

By building positive things into  our lives, I’m strengthening my case against depression. My garden was a mess, my children couldn’t play in it and depression enjoyed rubbing it in my face. Now my garden is on track to be a beautiful haven, filled with the soundtrack of my childrens’ laughter and sizzling steak on the barbecue. Depression has had to strike that from her list. My husband and I are redecorating the kitchen, dining room and lounge. By the end of this week, depression will have to strike that from her list too. I resumed my exercise regime yesterday and each endorphin my brain is releasing, is another middle finger in depression’s face. I’m hoping to book a family holiday for next year and I haven’t yet found a holiday company, who will accommodate depression in their baggage allowance. She’ll have to stay at home and tend to my weeds, instead.

I’m signing off for now – I have to prepare another bungee, to add to my collection. Thank you for reading this, and for being so patient with me. I promise I won’t leave my next post as long as I left this one.

 

Photo by Neslihan Gunaydin, courtesy of Unsplash

 

 

Please Don’t Be Kind To Me

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Please don’t be kind to me -unless you have tissues. Whenever people show me any sort of kindness, I break. You see, I was brought up with a Mother who hated me and an extended family who put me in emotional debt, whenever they showed me any sort of compassion or kindness. The message I took from this, growing up was: I don’t deserve kindness. Kindness for me, was something I had to earn. It wasn’t a birth right, or even a basic human right. If someone was kind to me, it meant I had to be in their debt.

I view other peoples’ kindness as a commodity. Not in the sense that I can exploit it, or make a gain from it. I mean in the sense that other people have a limited supply of kindness, and they have to spend it wisely. Whenever anyone is kind to me, I view it as a waste of their kindness quota. They haven’t invested their kindness wisely. Don’t get me wrong, they’ll get a return on their kindness investment. It’s just that their return will include snot and tears – and lots of it.

As you probably already know, I’ve recently been through the mill. I cut off my extended family, who had a lot of influence in my life. In cutting them off, I and my immediate family have been subjected to abuse and harassment, on a worringly epic scale. I won’t lie to you. My recovery from depression has taken a nose dive, in the last 4 weeks. I’ve gone from the strong willed, middle-finger-flipping survivor of recent months, back to the broken mess of yesteryear.

The latest incident of harassment ( I wrote a post on it, entitled The Cold War), left me completely shattered. I had to face facts – my own family don’t love me. That’s a hard pill to swallow. And it’s an even harder pill to swallow, when you have depression. Depression brings an internal narrative with it, which tells you constantly that you’re a horrible person who deserves to die. Add to the mix a family who hates you, and you have the perfect storm.

Since the incident with my family, I’ve felt even more, that I don’t deserve kindness. I’m damaged goods – a flawed human being, who should be out cast from society. If even my family don’t love me or like me, then I’m an unlovable, unlikeable person. I felt that everyone knew how unlovable I am, and they believed the lies that have been spread about me and my husband, by my family.

Here’s an example of my emotional fragility, right now:

Last week at work, I had a rare emotional outburst. Our labourer brought me some work, as he always does; but on this occasion he said to me “I’ve brought you a good pallet. (he’d brought me a pallet of work, which would make hitting my target easier). You deserve an easy pallet.” As he said it, he winked at me in a “I’m on your side” kind of way. Well, that was it. I burst into tears. How ridiculous. What is the matter with me? The poor guy thought he’d upset me. I tried to explain that he hadn’t, but as English (mixed with bodily fluids) isn’t his first language, he didn’t get a word I tried to splutter to him. Poor bugger. He’ll probably keep the good work away from me now.

Whenever anyone has shown me any kindness over the past few weeks, they’ve been met with tears and all round pathetic -ness. What the hell is wrong with me? All I know is, I want to get back to the strong-willed, middle-finger-flipping woman, I once was. 

 

 

Photo by Evan Kirby, courtesy of Unsplash