Late Night Ramblings of a Girl Who Wants To Talk About Depression

Well. I wanted to write something and now I’m here I don’t quite know what to say.d6a105b7142ac8c95e47de3c89b541ac I’m fed up and slowly destroying myself at the moment. I don’t quite know what to say when someone talks to me and yet afterwards I think of the perfect thing to say; I’m down and hurting and I want it to stop. I find it hard to talk, writing is much easier for me but many people don’t understand this. When I write I can separate myself from everything. I can tell myself no one will ever see this or the people who will see it I’ll never ever see or they’ll be that afraid by what I’ve written they won’t say anything to me. Either way I don’t mind. It’s just nice to vent and get it all out there every so often.

At the moment I’m in hell. I feel like a zombie, I don’t care for anything and don’t care to do anything either. I had a job interview and an assessment for a job that was shocking and I’d never do even if I was jobless. Because I’m not feeling great this has knocked me back a bit more. I feel like, at the moment, I can’t try to fix myself because I want to help fix my sister who’s currently in a psychiatric ward. As you all know she’s bipolar and she’s in there to help herself. She’ll be doing well with the right help and the right environment around her but I miss her a lot. I don’t want to burden my mum about my problems because I know she’s worried about Cat. She goes every day after work and visits her for a while. What rights do I have to put my problems on her? I should be helping so I put a smile on my face and get on with it even though inside I’m slowly giving up.

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This is exactly what it’s like. c. Hyperbole and a Half

 

I admit now that I suffer from depression. I don’t have it all the time but every so often it sneaks up on me and tries to make me give up. It tries to hurt me, my family and those I love around me and this makes me feel worse.
70d7f75664505bd1bee163ac20c2c08aMental Health still has a stigma in this country and I think that’s made me deny having depression for a while. I self harm but I always made it sound like a normal problem yet it is linked to my depression. I don’t want people to automatically think “oh she’s the one with depression” or “she needs to snap out of it.” People with mental health problems hate this. We really are no different to you in most ways. If I could just stop self harming don’t you think I would? Do you really think I like all the sympathetic and sad looks I get when someone sees a plaster or the cuts on my arms? For Gods sake I’m 24 and I don’t feel in control of my life! I feel like I’ll never be right according to what you think is right. I can be happy and then I get paranoid and afraid that someone will see my mask slipping, they’ll see the ugly side of me. It’s so tiring keeping the happy “yeah I’m okay” mask on all the time. But making people understand is even worse.

We are people too. Just remember that. Some of us need extra help and some of us need help and time just admitting that we need extra help. Sometime soon I might be brave enough to let my mask slip completely but for now I need to stay strong for my sister and for those of us going through a tough time. Most of all I need to stay strong for myself because who else will do it for me?

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Late Night Ramblings of a Girl Who Was Defeated By An Allergy Test

I know I have bad allergies and I know I have anaphylaxis. I know I have a strange condition called Idiopathic Angiodema. To some extent I know what I’m allergic to. I didn’t, however, know I was properly allergic to peanuts, walnuts and brazil nuts until that damn skin test yesterday.

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Yesterday I had to go to the hospital for a skin prick test. For those of you who don’t know what a skin prick test entails or have never been through one I’m happy to tell you all about it.

I had my skin test at the allergy clinic. Here the doctor goes through a list of commonIMG_1577 allergens and ticks off what they want you tested for. In my case I was tested for pollen, tree pollen, weed pollen, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts and pistachios. They’ll also put a negative and positive test on you. This is all done on your inner arm. The negative and positive tests are put on your arm as control tests. Everyone will have a reaction to the positive one.

I hear you asking how do they know what they’ve tested you for? They write on you in pen. Then they put a little drop of the solution with the allergen in it next to the correct letter. e.g. the walnut solution went next to the W. After they put the drop on your arm in the correct place they stab you with a lancet. Honestly this part doesn’t hurt. You feel a tiny stab for every allergen you’re being tested for. That’s the easy part.

You then have to hope you’re not actually allergic to anything you’re being tested for. If you’re unfortunate to have a skin reaction then you get told not to itch it. I had a reaction to 5 out of 9 things and it felt like my arm was on fire. Or been eaten by ants. It doesn’t hurt really it’s just DAMN UNCOMFORTABLE. 15 minutes later a nurse comes back to measure the “reaction.” It all gets very technical because they measure the weal and the flare (the red bit) with a ruler… Pressed against your itchy skin. The bigger the weal the more they can tell if you’re allergic.

tumblr_m0os6c7kSE1qzr2ctThey give you a guide about a “nut free diet” where you realise all the foods you usually eat and your favourite foods are in there. You mourn the loss of toffee nut lattes and sob when you realise coconuts are classed as nuts in this case.

You also throw a fit over the fact that a nut allergy ruins all chances of you joining the military or feeling safe enough to be a journalist in a conflict zone. Being allergic to flowers is easy, just stay away from them. Many foods in the Middle East contain nuts. Hell many foods here do. At least our medical services aren’t too bad so I know I won’t die.

It’s like feeling trapped. You can only go certain places. You have to ask 100 questions at every restaurant you go to. You sometimes feel that down over it all you just chance it anyway. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S IN THAT LOVELY LOOKING CAKE, and the people behind the counter usually aren’t that sure either. I was comfortable with my allergies before. They were things I could stay away from and nuts were something that were not a dead certainty to cause me harm. Now it’s a strange new nut free zone. And honestly I hate it.

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Late Night Ramblings of a Girl Six Weeks After

Six weeks ago today Jess died. You might remember reading the post I wrote on that day. In it I mention that she left me a letter. I’ve read and re-read that letter so many times and it’s only in the past few days I’ve felt like writing her a response. I actually went to visit her grave and read her my letter and the only other place I feel I should put it is on here for you guys to read.

One of the reasons I feel I should put it on here is because people keep asking me if I’m okay and how I feel now she’s gone. The letter should explain everything. I’m sure she’d think so.

Dear Jess.

Like you I’m having problems putting into words what I want to say to you. I bet your letter to me didn’t take six weeks to write. Mine has actually taken this long because I hated you so much for a time that I felt you didn’t deserve a response. I was furious that you’d left me, then even more so when people were calling me selfish and nasty for hating you even though you’d died. Liam called you a selfish cow and I laughed so much I broke down and cried for the first time since you’d died. I probably hated you for that too. You left me when I still needed you. In fact I will always need you. I sometimes cry when I think about you, don’t worry sometimes they’re happy tears.

Six weeks ago you broke my heart. You held my hand until the end and yet I still get shivers when I think of that moment. You were there and then you weren’t. I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone but the way it changed you haunts me. Seeing up close how it changed and twisted you makes me realise how strong you were to keep smiling, playing jokes and watching Disney films. You, Doll, were the strength behind us all. I’ll never forget when they found candy floss under your bed and Mars bars under your pillows when they banned you from sugar. We laughed so much after.

You can’t say you hope your death won’t change me. You know I don’t have many true friends but I’m now scared of them dying on me. First Ben and then you. I hated that doctor who told us you had 12 months to live and then 2 months later said you’d be lucky to last the week. Your death has probably changed me for the better. I always think of you and push myself more because of you. You won’t have the opportunities I have. Obviously I’ll mess up but then someone says “Jess would be proud of you” and it makes me smile. My life was falling apart but I’m slowly muddling through it all. Sometimes it doesn’t feel real that you’re gone, six weeks feels like two minutes and then feels like years.

IMG_1546It feels weird talking about you in the past tense so I sometimes speak to you as if you’re Poirot. Yeah he’s settled in well and reminds me of you which is good.

I hope you’re okay on your big adventure and are not alone, I know how much you hated to be alone. Someday we’ll see each other again and I look forward to that day. Until then I suppose I’ll keep talking to your gravestone. Or the rabbit. Either way I’ll be able to tell you all the good, bad and rambly stuff.

Remember I love you and will miss watching films with you. I’ll miss everything as you probably will. Liam misses you too. I’ll also miss you making me read Le Petit Prince to you in French then asking me what it all meant.

I’m glad you didn’t suffer much in the end and no matter what I say I’m glad I was there with you till the end. You did achieve so much and you’ve made us all better people. We’re so proud of you. Go adventure Doll, I know you’ll always be there.

Good night for now and I’ll leave you with this…You’re now invisible because you’re essential.

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World Mental Health day- Late Night Ramblings of a vampire who’s been to a mental hospital

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Talk like a Pirate day, (for those of you who need educating, that’s the 19th of September) I ended up in hospital for mental health reasons. I decided this World mental health day (Well the night before W.M.H.D), while freezing my hands off writDW headbanging this thanks to the cold nights, having to stop in my parents conservatory and I can’t find my gloves to go under this quilt (they came to the conclusion me stopping with them was a good idea, it may be a good idea but in the conservatory in the middle of winter, I’m on anti-psychotics so those penguins must be real). But I decided I’d have a go at telling my experience at stopping 17 long and frankly boring days. I did mention before leaving that with all the waiting we had to do no wonder people in there were going crazy; also I’d go crazy just with lack of things to do.

 

I didn’t end up in there fMonstersor pushing too many people off planks or going insane and over dosing on Krispy Kreme’s offer where you got a free donut if you showed up dressed like a pirate, looking back though they, especially the latter, might have been a good option. I didn’t get properly hospitalised till the Sunday (Talk like a Pirate day was on Friday). In these hospital trips I had to spend about 6 hours in a waiting room, which yes I know for some people 6 hours is nothing, trust me been there when I had a broken nose, but it could seem like eternity. Especially when you have creepy people coming in and out, injured Sunday footballers coming in with probably nothing more than a sprained ankle and a family you swear was the Spanish mob, and that’s just what was happening outside of me.

It’s hard to explain to those healthy people, but imagine you are in severe pain. Try distracting yourself from it, now on that weekend that’s sort of what I was feeling. Just not physical pain, you can easily walk into an A&E screaming in pain telling them what’s hurting, my pain I couldn’t exactly pin point. Bipolar you have highs and lows, my low was at an all time and if that wasn’t bad enough I had an hallucination voice that was a female constantly screaming in pain in my head, I had told a therapist later that I could imagine a woman burning, now I don’t know if that’s just because I’m a Supernatural fan and my mind was reminding me of the first episode of season one or what but it was horrible.

Another thing what is hard to explain to people is how I saw myself during those times… The Fault in our Stars quote, “I’m a Grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimise the casualties, okay?” That’s basically it, I know seeing a mental health patient compare herself to a terminally ill cancer patient is strange and to some people wrong but that’s how I see it, it’s why I sympathise with Hazel so much. I may not have a tumour killing me but there are days were I see my mental illness as the grenade and the statistics haunt me. Being Bipolar, there is a 50% it will kill me (well statistics say I will kill myself but it will probably be the bipolar that caused that). The medication just becomes something that is keeping you alive, with out it the illness will take over, so when it feels like the illness is taking over with out the medication, the right thing is to take more right?

Infecting

 

I over took medication, that’s the reason I was told to go to A&E. I didn’t overdose. There is a difference. For me to have overdose I’d have had to have taken a certain amount, I was close to taking it but I’d have to have taken 1 or 2 more tablets,Numbed also there would have had to be suicide in mind.

With the severe pain thing in mind, I just wanted things to stop, for the world to stop, for what I was hearing and feeling to stop. I took the first lot of tablets that didn’t stop anything that I was feeling so I took another lot a few hours after and then another lot after, meaning I took about 6 tablets. It was the doctors on Sunday that wouldn’t let me home deeming it would be a risk putting me anywhere I had access to medication.

When they hospitalise you they can do two things, well in my case three but we had done the 3rd before but that after a week I was hitting my head against a wall- and in that place I was allowed my MacBook. 2 things they can do- informal admittance or sectioning (which means you get some of your rights taken away) My case I was an informal admittance, meaning I chose to go into hospital, although I didn’t want to stop in for that long and I soon started to wonder why I had chose to go in the first place. If they had told me in that little room in A&E were I stared mostly into corners trying to keep up with the constant stream of, “What do you want to do?” that I’d be subjected to a timetable that was carved in stone, no laptops or expensive electronics and chargers had to be given in and if you wanted your phone charging you had to give your phone to the office? I may have gone for the place that made me want to bash my head in. (This is the reason I found my time there insanely boring once I started to get better I live by my MacBook)

When I got there- via taxi, massive issue considering I have a fear of taxis so another question they had to keep asking me was, “Will I jump out?”- It was scary; the whole world got squashed into this ward. It has two small gardens- one that was full of smokers, the other one I used just to get away from people. They occasionally wondered out there too, public spaces, go figure… I got my own room with a plastic mattress and even a plastic covered duvet. Guess what? The walls weren’t padded and there were no straight jackets! Sorry to disappoint you but they don’t use straight jackets anymore… also I found out on my second week there that the staff won’t had out mallets and tranquiliser guns.

As I arrived at night I didn’t get to meet many people till the next day.

Fear yourself

At breakfast it became evident it was sort of like school, 5 circular tables full of different people. The people you sat with were the people you soon came close too and sat with every day, even though it took a few days for the relationship to get to a social level, for before that point it was mostly eye contact. For me one of the first conversations I had with a patient I had was with a woman who came in about the same time as me and the conversation was about her teddy bear, that she came in hugging… she was discharged before me so she happily laughed while I grumbled about how life wasn’t fair. It was hard to see how a woman who looked scared of her own shadow could have been in a better state than me. I have to admit I was also a bit peed off that she came in with a teddy and I hadn’t come in with something to hug- that was corrected the next day though with a cuddly squirrel.

People were in here for different reasons, some were more evident then others, one lady I made friends with was just in there for holiday. No idea why you’d want to go in there for a holiday, but then if you are happy with watching daytime tv aHallucinationsnd having a strict regime with (not so good) meals, it’s the ideal place for you! If you crossed a person who was talking to themselves looking distant, chances are they were in for mental health. There were also people in this ward in for rehab, so chances are they could disappear as they went into withdrawal. There was one case waiting in the line to get medication where one of the patients was asking another to go to the shop to get him some beer. Thankfully, it didn’t end in violence, although striking up a fight in front of a room full of staff with medication unless you had a low IQ that’s not a good idea.

One thing I loved was the staff. It wasn’t all cooed voices, caring too much; thankfully they treated us like real people. Things I hated, I think I mentioned this 3 times already the timetable. There were 3 and ½ meal times and 4 drink times. For a place that people were supposed to remain calm and sane in, they promoted a lot of caffeine, offering tea and coffee at every meal time and drink time. I did start making a theory that the amount of caffeine through the day was to keep patients awake just due to the amount of medication that had the side effect of tiredness.

  • 8.30 Breakfast (meaning you had to be up before and dressed- difficult thing to do if you are used to getting up at 10, very high quality breakfast every day you have the choice between cereal and toast… there is a lot of toast in this place, if there is a bread shortage this place will go down in flames.)
  • 9am- Morning medication (Also if you weren’t up by this time you’d be woken up by staff. This is where you got a catch up on the latest gossip as you cued outside the treatment room… then you silently cursed if someone was in front of you had to go in and have a full work up- blood pressure readings done etc)
  • 10am Morning drink (A.K.A The first official caffeine dosage, well breakfast counted to properly waking me up this was an added extra)
  • 12pm Lunch (Hospital yumminess *Sarcasm*)
  • 3pm afternoon drink
  • 5pm dinner
  • 8pm evening drink + supper (A.K.A Hot Chocolate Tiiiime)
  • 9.30 pm nighttime drink
  • 10pm night time drug time (If you had sleeping tablets or like me the boringness of your day tired you out you were asleep shortly after this.)

 

Ok I know this wasn’t a hotel, holiday experience but I told my GP (Not the psychiatrist he’d have kept me in if I told him this)- the same one I told I’d rather rip out my ovaries than have kids so she knew how troubled my mind was- I wouldn’t plan to go back. The fact I nearly told one of the patients who I had a theory was in there due to mood issues that this wasn’t a hotel when she started using colourful language about being woken up. It wasn’t all bad either for patients like me I could go out after seeing one of the nurses just as long as I gave details on where I was going and when I’d be back, in simple terms the staff there were like over protective parents. You had to call them if something went wrong blah, blah, blah.

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It did its job I’m now in a better state than what I had been- I even got to the state where I was actually begging to be discharged. It was pointed out to me though, although being happy would get me points, I was bipolar so if I over acted it they’d assume I was going manic (Ultra happy) and I’d be kept in. So, if you ever ended up like I did in hospital, take all the advice you can get, even some from the patients who have been there what to them feels like years- one woman had been in and out of their for 20 years, I think I would have snapped at the 1 month point and ended up on a more secure ward so 20 years? That woman deserves a medal or something… happy sticker maybe?

Art work seen in this post is some of mine what I did in the ward (rest of my art work available on www.nightmarecat.co.uk– weirdly I plastic bags and cables were not allowed in the ward but I was allowed to keep pens and pencils… still trying to figure that one out… 

 

Late Night Ramblings of a Girl in Mourning

It was strange walking into the hospital today. It was like I knew this was the end for her. Things seemed too different. Too bright. Too cheerful. The sun was shining when I thought the skies should be gloomy.

Today Jess died.

Today I feel like no one should smile. I don’t know what to say so I thought I’d write it. Hopefully my feelings won’t be too extreme, but at this point I don’t care. My friend is gone. My beautiful talented friend isn’t alive to see her 24th Birthday and I’m angry that she isn’t here. Cancer took her and turned her into the complete opposite of what she was. I can remember her crying for a day when her hair started falling out and yet a month later when they told her she didn’t have much time left she took it in her stride and simply said “Okay, that’s fine.” At that point we cried for everything she would not see and do.

I think her death has hit me a lot harder than I hoped it would. She died in front of my eyes while she held my hand. That is burned into my head. I’m glad I was there in her final moments and that she didn’t suffer much. Jess wasn’t scared and that helps but now I have to move forward without her in anyway possible. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I’m fed up of people asking ‘Are you okay?’ even though I know they’re concerned and are genuinely asking.

Let us go back to yesterday when she laughed and smiled. She seemed to be better. She still wasn’t eating but she smiled! That was the best feeling ever! It’s like she knew that was her last effort to make us smile. Today though she had a shadow of a smile when she told us she loved us and would miss us. She’s wrote letters to us and I daren’t open it. I’m terrified of a letter. What if she’s said something and I need to reassure her? I can’t now. Certain things keep popping up and it makes me hate her for a second. Jess you’ve left me with no one to talk to. You’ve left me with your bunny who also seems to be mourning you. I’ve been worried for you for so long I don’t know how to feel anymore. Part of me wants to join you on what you always called your big adventure.

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I’m glad your suffering is over and that you’re at peace but, Doll, you shouldn’t have died yet. I am proud of you and love you like a sister. You told me to keep on smiling every time I told you we’d be fine and you could go when ever you needed to. I don’t think I know how to smile anymore. I’ll try though.

I’ll remember every moment with you. The good, the bad and the funny.

Goodbye and Goodnight Doll.

This is mine and Jess’ favourite song… Listen closely to the lyrics.

Late Night Ramblings of a Very Pissed Off Girl

I’ve been pissed off before but this seriously takes the biscuit.

tumblr_lownc5Pixq1qd0g3po1_500As many of you know I’m ill. I suffer from anaphylaxis with pretty much unknown causes. The paramedics always laugh and joke and say I’m allergic to everything which in someway is pretty much true. It’s a lovely illness to have. NOT. Anaphylaxis on it’s own is terrifying. Not knowing if the next thing you eat, touch or smell could send you into the pits of despair is evil. I think that alone could probably kill someone.

Yesterday I got took from work (again) in an ambulance because I went into anaphylactic shock. I have lovely rashes and scratches up my arms where some flowers brushed past me and I’ve literally peeled some skin off my chest from scratching so much. As the kind doctor pointed out at midnight last night I look like shit. For those of you who don’t know anaphylaxis is like a really bad allergic reaction to something. It gets so severe that our airways swell up and shut off… That’s if our tongues haven’t already swollen up and stopped our breathing. We have to carry epi-pens which is basically a wonderful needle that injects us with adrenaline that gets us breathing again. It works wonders. Sometimes that one shot doesn’t last too long and we have to have a second larger dose and then if we’re really unlucky hours, maybe even days later, we have a relapse. In my case the relapse is usually worse than the initial shock.

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These are epi-pens. You jab it in your leg and it gives you a shot of adrenaline.

Let’s finish with facts and get back to my pissed offness.

tumblr_m8nscxcrwl1rpu8xlo1_400While I am grateful for the wonderful support and love I get from my family and friends (work colleagues included) about my condition something was said today that really riled me up and quite frankly upset me. I won’t say who said it. I got told that all these trips to the hospital are tiring and that they can’t keep doing this. Yes that one sentence annoyed me. I understand that this is hard for people who love me, especially when one of my best friends actually died of anaphylaxis and there’s the possibility it could happen to me. But telling me that MY illness is tiring is ridiculous. How do you think I feel when this happens to me. IT’S SCARY KNOWING I COULD DIE. It’s scary not knowing what causes these reactions and it’s god damn tiring living with this illness. I hate it and if Stitch CryingI could stop the allergies don’t you think I would. Living with any illness is really tough and I totally get that but we all, at times, can’t deal with it has we should and I suppose we all deal with it differently. Having been out of hospital about 12 hours now I can tell you that my fear of needles is still there and I’m bone tired of it all. If there was an easy way out right now I’d take it but I have to be strong for my lovely friends who’ll be there to cheer me up until it all happens again.

I may regret writing this later on but for now it’s just nice to be able to vent my anger somewhere.

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