Why I lost my job

Because the director’s daughter needed a job, I found out today.

Nice to have a daddy who can sort everything out for you, even at the expense of others.

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It’s getting eerie what’s this cheery singing all about?

Here’s my theory. This isn’t universal so I’m not sure how far this would extend to anothers’ experience of a psychotic illness, although I’d like to see a good comparison. It’s good to know you’re not alone.

I was already ‘susceptible’, Predisposed to self-destruction, loved to escape my problems, be it in a good book, a fandom, alcohol, drugs….

A downward spiral led to an ill-fated decision to take LSD around people I should not have, and whatever they did traumatised me to breaking point. The small auditory hallucinations I’d heard (from a young age I’d heard music on the wind) became full grown, and were accompanied by delusions and paranoia.

With the perspective of three years, I can now say my mind did what it could to survive. I was so traumatised, so unbelievably broken that I splintered myself. My voices assumed all my fears and worries, and while I felt them I experienced, and still do, a disconnection from my own fears, they were taken away from me.

This doesn’t explain how some of the things I hear relate to real life – but that’s an entirely different kettle of fish.

I was alone, and afraid, and my mind took that burden from me and broke it down into something more manageable.

And I know I was hurt. If emotional pain affects the brain in the same way physical pain does, there is no doubt in my mind what triggered that manic episode. That pain was so great that my body’s own pain relief system took me to a place I could survive.

I am not crazy. I am a survivor.

As I learn day by day I’m not in danger, as I make peace with my voices it will get better.

A physical wound grows a scab over it to allow the tissue underneath to heal. The end result reduces the functionality of the area, until it’s fully healed. It’s not pretty, but it’s necessary.

And the scar tissue may never heal.

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A change in the wind

For those of you reading, I’ve changed my tagline.

Previously, I’d used the phrase “because reality is relative to perception”

These were not my words. I’m not ashamed to admit, they belonged to someone who used to play a highly influential part in my life. We all build ourselves, collecting pieces from the world around us whether we know it or not.

I like to imagine an invisible being, self-made from the trash and clippings and ephemera of the people and places that have affected us, be it a conscious effort to assimilate something or our experiences simply making that change, or perhaps something clinging to us as we brush by.

We are collages.

Which brings me onto my new tagline. “Somewhere between existential crisis and enlightenment.”

I’ve learned so much with yoga. I’ve learned to feel so much – and beyond that to accept (or at least to know that I should accept) what it is that I’m feeling, to be aware of myself and of my limitations and strengths, that these change daily, hourly, minute by minute even…

It’s this acceptance of myself that allows me to better myself. To stop just picking up things as I pass through and to actively choose what it is I want to get from my surroundings. Reality is relative to perception, yes, but the startling thing is that when you are still and at peace, the world opens up in the same way it crowds you in it’s enormity when you’re too scared to go outside. Depending on my mood I can take comfort in it, or sometimes it can frighten me.

It’s all pretty self-explanatory I suppose, I think I’m trying to remind myself to be comforted by my inherent nihilism rather than panicked.

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Never a borrower nor a lender be

Money.

Such a divisive, ugly thing.

Money does make the world go around and the fact of this is cringe worthy. How did we go from beast to material-grabbing monsters?

We’ve created a needlessly complicated world where money facilitates everything. Even the land to live freely is not free.

I have had a bad habit of what seems like arbitrarily cutting out people who don’t repay the money they are lent, and now I keep a tight purse for any except those I feel I can trust with absolute certainty. I’ve been guilty of not repaying in the past (although granted, as below, I didn’t place value on that connection) and karma has most definitely taught me what I needed to learn.

Coming from a position of debt and being stressed (twice almost to the point of suicide) about money, cutting people out really isn’t about the money.

If that money’s been lent and promised back, it’s because I needed it. When it’s not paid the fall out of late fees gets too much for me to deal with.

Admittedly I now know to say no.

The point is, refusing to pay back means you value whatever crap it is you’re clearly buying (be it drugs, clothes, alcohol) over your connection with the person you’ve borrowed from and the suffering you cause.

The trust is gone. Actions have spoken louder than words and because that suffering becomes insurmountable, the only logical next step is to say goodbye.

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Wipe the slate clean

Looking at my life
And I’d like to wipe the slate clean
Not to erase good or bad choices
Or wish for things that might have been

But wipe the slate and take a look
At the people in my life
And at myself
And whether I
Am satisfied
With fresh new eyes

I know there’s people lost in time
And distance without fault or blame
But we move in and out of each others spheres
We should bring love and wealth
Enrich, not cause tears

….this is cheesy and unfinished. I meant nourishment more than wealth. Uninspired and choc full of zopiclone.

Night

Comfortable

Comfort is a relative thing. The comfort of shelter from the rain can seem divine after waiting at a bus stop without an umbrella.

Habit can be comfortable.

Change is a scary thing. As creatures on this world we cling to what we know when we’re scared, alone, low in confidence and stuck in a cycle of self-loathing so destructive we cannot imagine or hope for better.

So when you said comfortable, I heard better the devil you know, knowing the damage that the devils I didn’t had done.

I’m constantly trying to push my comfort zone, and I realise that the pain I used to feel, the torment was not comfortable. The ability to hurt someone without a care exists because in the moment of that action you don’t care about that person. The hurt I was dragged through made this permissable, in my current state of mind it would be inexcusable.

There is nothing left to say. No hurt that hasn’t already been exacted. That was the end.

I’ve turned a page.

Can I just take a moment..

…to share this?

Consent may be given to one sort of sexual activity but not another, or with conditions, such as wearing a condom. Consent can be withdrawn at any time during sexual activity and each time activity occurs.

I didn’t do this to you.

Yes you did. Fuck you.

As for one particular sexual partner who may or may not have spread some awful rumours about me – they were so hurtful because I was actually raped. Any time you said no, I stopped. It’s called respect.

I’m glad this conference took place. I’m glad I have the validation that I don’t have to torture myself – because victim blaming comes from yourself just as much as anyone else.

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Symptomania

Oh dear….

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Well, my voices are almost constant – but this has been a while now. I get tired of them, but falling in love – it pushes your whole body out of balance. I’m flooding myself with feel-good hormones, I’m worrying over silly little things….

I suppose I’m starting to balance myself out, but I did an interview with The Express about psychosis. I hope, I sincerely hope it has helped someone out there feel less alone, because it left me feeling paranoid and stressed out.

Whoever does media on a regular basis – I applaud you. My words have been taken out of context, my ‘story’ has been sensationalised and changed to fit a few punchy paragraphs (hardly necessary, given the drama that has plagued the last few years!) and the most important part, in my opinion, has been glossed over.

The recovery. The years of hard work and struggle I have put in to get myself to this position – to the point I feel that one day I could be independent, I could look after myself alone and I could achieve everything I hope for.

And that is the part that, I think, really matters to other people with psychosis. It’s the part that matters to me. The horror stories of your worst moments do shock and stun people into trying to comprehend the terror of living with something like this – but learning how to live again: that’s what I want to read about. That’s what I want to know.

There are still so many moments of doubt in my life, and there are so many times still I feel like I’m going to be trapped in a sort of limbo for the rest of my days but the small battles I win, the longer time goes by and I don’t completely fall apart…

There’s no point looking at an image without seeing the work behind it. It doesn’t help.

Anyway, on another topic…

Disassociative symptoms. I had a rather severe disassociative episode on Friday. I rarely get ‘negative’ symptoms anymore, but I’ve been stressed. The ups and downs of trying to fit into another persons life and have them fit in mine, the uncertainty of working somewhere that can’t be bothered to tell me if I have a permanent job – and me being too chicken-shit to actually ask about it. The article.

It must have been too much for me.

I felt like I was in a dream. Nothing felt real. I checked out. I could barely react to things, I seemed slow, unresponsive, sluggish.

The world looked wrong, even now I’m still trying to drag myself out of the remains of it, I look at things and they don’t seem quite connected – my hands seem independent of my body if I watch them flutter across the keyboard now and I still feel slightly slow, like I’m waiting for something to jerk me out.

But with plenty of sleep and the affection of a good man I felt safe.

So there’s another hope that rather than fading has shone brighter because every little relapse that doesn’t end in disaster is something I can chalk up in the ‘win’ column and know that I can cope a little better.

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Don’t panic, no not yet

I heard something and it turned out to be true.

Panic over. Found a charger.

I have to document this each time it happens.

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Sheogorath

I am a shadow of your subconscious, a blemish on your fragile little psyche. You know me. You just don’t know it.

~ Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness (Skyrim)

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