Sunday, 12 February 2017

Battling the self.

As always I never know what to write about and just write off the top of my head. Never any planning or research. Only ever what I experience and feel. This leads to very long term gaps between posts with nothing new to add.

Today I have something I WANT to add. Maybe a few of you out there will have experienced this as well. I'm hoping it will remind you that you aren't alone; as for me this post will help a little in relieving my own uncontrollable mental health issues.

A few months ago I stopped taking my anti-depressants in hopes of relieving some of the physical side-effects. Which it did a little bit but my other physical health issues unrelated to the medication side-effects just became more dominant. So in the end nothing changed for the better physically.
Today I start taking my anti-depressants again of my own volition. Many of you will recognise that overwhelming sense of despair, pointlessness and desire for everything to go away. Usually that means thoughts of suicide, sometimes even temptations to carry out those thoughts. For a while now I have been re-experiencing intense version of this, thus my decision to take the anti-depressants again and just deal with the side-effects as best I can which can be debilitating.
Often I have that sinking, crushing feeling that drains you of all life, energy and desire to do anything. Though I rarely have any desire for anything anyway. Desire is good for getting the most out of life, it's a driving force, but if you don't care about the things you desire then it's just pointless, empty greed. I am unable to care about anything sadly. The only thing I do care about and desire is my chosen topic of obsession. It's the only thing I live for.
I can't enjoy other peoples company, I have no interest in other peoples lives. I would like a romantic partner but I often ask myself if I could realistically maintain a loving relationship? I always answer no. I tell myself that I am ok with living out my life in solitude; never knowing the touch of another person again. And at the time I do mean it. However there are times when even I get lonely; however short lived those times may be. Thus a cycle is born of self-assured hermitage and crushing loneliness. Getting through those times can be very hard. It's not as if I choose to feel this way, it's just a natural human reaction. As much as I absolutely detest calling myself human. Loneliness is normal; so is wanting to be alone but being unable to empathise with others? To feel nothing for them at all? That is not something that produces a pleasant lifestyle for those of us who suffer from it.
I can't make myself love another person, or learn to love. I envy those who have romantic partners and feel genuine affection. It's like being torn in two at times like this. My envy for what I can't have and my natural state of self-imposed isolation.
I feel safe when I'm alone. Or I should say safer than when I'm around people. I never truly feel safe ever. This world feels disconnected, devoid of colour and warmth. As if it's a painting made from ice. Lifeless, shallow. How do you find meaning, a desire to live in such a world? You don't. You cling to whatever it is that keeps you going and hope to make it a little longer each time. Because life is the devil we know and death is the unknown. For myself that is the one and only reason I haven't committed suicide in the past; even then I struggle. Like many of you out there sometimes that thing you cling to and the devil you know attitude just isn't enough to help us cling to life.
It's exhausting trying to cling to a life that doesn't feel like your own while being assaulted from all sides by societies needs and wants from you. There isn't a single moment I ever stop thinking about how wonderful it would be to just lay down and sleep forever. It's a constant fantasy for myself.
But that's sadly unrealistic so I keep going. One day, each day, a little at a time. Without meaning, purpose or desire. Just holding on to life for the sake of it and nothing else.
This is what Battling the Self means for me.
What does it mean for you?

Sunday, 31 July 2016

2016 the worst year both personally and in general.

I know it's been a long time since my last post but I actually wrote a number of very long ones that never got posted. Why? Five of them got corrupted when trying to export from my tablet to online. Now they are permanently stuck in the tablet app for blogger and completely uninteractable. I can't even delete them. Others I wrote but wasn't happy with how they turned out.
So this post I will take a little time to give a quick over view of what has happened this year and how it's affected me.

In January my Grandmother was hospitalised and eventually placed in a care home after being brought home by police at 3am on a bitterly cold winter morning. She had developed dementia and had also started to hallucinate. My mother had to scream and shout at the local doctors office to get any help for her.
My Grandfather had developed kidney cancer and passed in his sleep at home in June. As some of you who may have read my previous posts I live... or lived, with my Grandparents because of my health issues so I was present when both events happened. My Grandfather wanted to see my Grandmother who was in a care home by then before he passed but he was too far gone to move. If we had tried to move him to see her he would most likely have died enroute. So he never got to see her one last time. That still haunts me. I sometimes think maybe I should have insisted that we try to move him. He was going to pass anyway... The least we could do for him was to let him see his wife one last time. Even if he didn't make it there. Am I wrong? I don't know. Either way it's a moot point as it's already over. Though I still think about it. I feel guilty that I didn't insist upon it but I'm not the only one in the family and it wasn't my decision alone. I couldn't be that selfish. I don't know anymore.

Then a few days ago my father developed pancreatitis and was hospitalised. He was stable until he crashed yesterday, his heart stopped for 3 minutes, had to be put on a ventilator, kidney dialysis and a cooling blanket. He's stable for now but who know what damage has been done to his body, especially his brain.

My mother told me yesterday what had happened and asked if I wanted to come into the hospital but after everything thats happened this year I couldn't say yes. I wanted to say yes.I felt I had to. I'm supposed to go in am I not? Yet I couldn't. I just can't take anymore. My Fluoxetine dosage has been increased to 60mg a day, I've been prescribed melatonin to help me sleep and Diazepam to help with my extreme panic attacks. I try not to take that last one at all unless I absolutely have to because of it's addictive nature. No more than one pill a day if i can avoid it.

This is just a quick summary of whats happened. I wrote it all in much more detail in posts that got corrupted. To put it in perspective of the subject matter for this entire blog, which is mental and physical health, I haven't coped well with any of these events. I've had numerous panic attacks where it's felt like I can't breathe and need to escape. To get out to anywhere but ofcourse there is no where to go so... well... I talked about that in a previous post so see the details on that disturbing aspect of mental health on the previous posts. I don't cope well most days with ordinary day to day mundane life. So you can imagine whats it's been like trying to get through everything thats happened this year as well as my own crippling guilt at being able to do nothing to help. The self loathing is at an all time high. Though thankfully not to the stage it was once at where I wanted to gouge out my own eyes years ago. I was close to doing that to. Obviously I didn't.

So thats the summary of whats been happening. I am dealing with it all by taking medications prescribed to me, trying not to think about any of it and distracting myself with my Apsergers chosen obsession of Japanese Anime. Completely throwing myself into the media to help forget about reality while watching it. I don't understand how neuro-normal people cope with life. I really don't. I am also ashamed that I can't cope the way they do. Though I know I have to accept who and what I am in order to just live and some days I can do that. Other though... when things like this happen? When I can do nothing to help and just get in the way and be a burden to everyone around me? Yes... Times like these it's hard not to... think in extremes. Distraction and escapism as well as the medication are all that keep me going. Just one day at a time. Just keep going I tell myself. It will all pass eventually. Just keep going, don't do anything rash. It will be ok. I repeat this to myself hundreds of times a day.

Maybe one day it will actually be true.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Not sure what is happening to me.

I don't know if this really belongs here but I need to talk to someone but there is no one to talk to. So I am writing it here instead.
From my previous posts you know I have various health issues including Aspergers, part of that is a lack of empathy. Also my lack of emotional connection to my family. I currently live with my grandparents, my grandfather has been diagnosed with cancer and doesn't have long to live. My grandmother has memory issues which continue to degrade over time. Possible Alzheimer or Dementia.
As society tells me I should care, I should feel something, I should SAY ANYTHING but ... I feel nothing when I know I should and I am ashamed of this yet there is nothing I can do to change this. You can't force yourself to care. So I just have to accept myself for who I am and the way I am.
What of my grandparents? Don't I owe them something? Anything? I don't know what to do for them or even if there is anything I can do. I am rambling now mostly because I am confused. So I will stop here. I just needed to talk about this and with no one to physically talk with this is my only other outlet. Maybe I will delete this post in the future if I find a better place for it.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Forth coming goals.

The next goal I want to aim for in regards to this blog is an interview with various employers and their anonymous perspective of disabled employees. Be they mental or physically disabled... or both.
I hope that making the employers anonymous that their responses will be more honest and far less media news soundbite like. The kind of thing you usually hear from business and government PR representative.
If anyone has any suggestions of employers you would like to hear from please reply to this post. Again all responses from specific employers will be anonymous.

That sense of futility.

I wake up each day numb or angry. Numb to a world that seems colourless and without interest. Angry for no reason at all that I can ascertain except it just happens. Possibly an unconscious reaction to my life situation? Who knows. Mostly commonly however I am numb to the world around me. Nothing interests me, I cannot take pleasure/enjoy anything except my singular obsession of Anime. The stories and colours of my subject of obsession give me a sense of living vicariously through the characters and they're own world.
I take no pleasure in anything else despite trying many many things in the past. When I was younger I tried rock climbing, archery, martial arts, general ball sports ie basketball, Art ie drawing, Landscape photography and so on. Various activities that give millions of people across the globe pleasure yet I felt nothing. If anything I felt coldly empty which sadly is a mainstay of my psyche it seems.
So what is the purpose of my life? What reason do I continue to breathe? Why don't I end such a shallow pointless existence? Honestly I ask myself that every day. Yet I keep on living. Why? A mixture of anti-depressants and my over whelming desire to experience new stories. Always more stories. Some people are addicted to gambling, drugs, alcohol and even adrenaline. I'm addicted to the stories I can experience via Anime.
Is such a life worth living? If you were to ask a traditionalist within society they would most likely answer that I am a waste of space and should just kill myself. Yet I've noticed a slight shift in public opinion as the long, then short, years dragged on. The vast majority is still that of the narrow minded traditionalist yet theres a slowly growing voice of people who are willing to understand our mental and physical health issues and saying "It's ok to be you. You are who you are, don't be ashamed of it."
This new slowly building wave of educated understanding; I'm not sure where it's heading or what it will create but it's helping me feel more at ease with myself and my issues.
Life may be largely pointless without enjoyment/pleasure but so long as we keep living theres a chance to find or build something that will give us the pleasure we need to live.
Try not to listen to and internalise the tranditionalists vile mantra as I sadly do. Focus on being yourself and finding something that gives your own life meaning for yourself and for no one elses expectations.
We only have one life. Don't waste it by ending it early or chasing a lifestyle others tell you you should be living.

I want to work.

I want to work, I do not want to rely on a benefits system which could either fail or be removed at any point to support me for life. Yet where and what work could I possibly do? Employers are generally a business of some form and for businesses profit is always the fore front goal. Not social action, not charity, not ethics, not conscience. Profit is the over riding principle of any business and time and again we have seen that businesses will do anything to increase profit both legal and illegal means.
In such an environment do we really think that someone like myself be employed when you take into account my health issues? Crippling daily migraines with pain that increases depending of my physical activity, weak muscles and back, Depression, Aspergers Syndrome, Social Anxiety, Sensory sensitivity, difficulty concentrating and even making decisions. Employers the world over would see anyone with a health issue to be a liability rather than an asset at an entry level position. With my own health issues what employer in their right mind would employ someone like me even at a minimum wage position? I would be slow to get work done, I couldn't do much work at a time, randomly have panic attacks just from people talking to me or being nearby and be easily confused making it so I have to reaffirm what tasks I have to do multiple times a day.
Yet I still want to work. Though I do not blame employers, their first loyalty is to profit and hiring me is an act of charity with no real expectation of my being a genuine supportive member of the companies workforce. Society is a place where profit is the main goal of life it seems but thats a post for another time.
Where does a person go when they want to work yet cannot? A conundrum which is currently being asked in present day society within the media and parliament. As for whether there will ever be a suitable answer... I very much doubt it.

Housing and the hurdles we face on benefits.

I have lived with my Grandparents for 10 years because of health issues and low income. I desperately want a home of my own and I also want to work, that second issue I will cover in a later post. Yet the possibility of finding an appropriate home is mired in red tape and just outright prejudice by those in control of personal decisions or company policy.
Social housing is a fantastic concept but sadly at the time of writing Scotland is in the middle of a severe housing crisis. Hundreds of individuals and families bid for just one home in a desperate struggle to gain lasting accommodation that won't be taken from them because they can't afford the crippling and obscene rent costs as seen in private rented accommodation. People wait decades to be accepted for a home of their own through social housing depending on their circumstances, yet the location of said property is vitally important. If given a place of high crime and anti-social behavior it will severely affect quality of life and in some ways even possibility of employment is affected just by living in such an area.
Private lets should be more easily attainable yet in my own personal experience private landlords and or letting agencies won't even entertain the thought of renting to you if you are on any form of benefits. It does not matter if you can afford it, simply being on a benefit is grounds to deny you the right to rent your own home privately.
Obviously owning your own home when in such a situation is completely out of the question. No bank will ever grant a mortgage to someone on benefits and even if they did how would we pay for it?
So to summarise, social housing is great in concept but high demand means extreme competition, private lets are dogged by prejudice and owning your own home in this society is a dream that will never be realised... unless we win the lottery.

So where does that leave us? In my case I continue to live with my Grandparents until I find either a suitable private let or am offered a suitable socially rented home. Which do you think will come first?

Monday, 14 July 2014

Plans

I'm really angry at myself for not being able to properly format and keep this blog in a professional manner. Well part of that is it is so difficult to think straight cause of the constant head pain from the migraines and the extreme drowsy side effects of 60mg of Fluoxetine a day but it's also that finding topics from my daily life that are worth reading don't exist as I completely isolate myself. Don't get me wrong however I like being alone. I feel safe this way and I can live vicariously through media.
I do have to plan this blog out a lot better than I have till now if I want it to be of any real use to people who have mental health issues and as an educational tool for those who don't. I usually just write off the top of my head once I pick a topic. Seems that isn't going to work now that I've exhausted my personal issues.
I will have to make a list of topics that affect people with mental health issues and slowly write about each one, one by one. Can I really do that though? I can barely stay awake most of the time. Well I can but try and who knows maybe I'll learn a new skill... that I quickly forget cause of the medication. ^_^ heh

Atos second attempt

So just had the second attempt at a home assessment by ATOS for PIP but since the company requires an audio cd of the audio recorded assessment we had to reschedule again as the cd-r's I ordered have not arrived yet. I haven't owned or used cd-r's in almost 15 years. Do people still use them?
The woman who is doing the assessment on me is very kind and understanding. She seems like someone you can trust and be at ease with but who knows what ATOS themselves and the DWP will do with her report once it's done. Ignore it perhaps?

I was so anxious about todays assessment that I was physically sick all last night. The sheer terror of having to interact with someone on any level, no matter how understanding and nice, is overwhelming. People have to be the most terrifying thing on the planet. As I get older this phobia only gets stronger.

Time to take more painkillers. I can already feel the more painful migraine forming.

Not a very helpful post or past few posts I know and not what I had intended for to be written in this blog at all from what was originally posted last year but I found that I have to be very careful not to repeat myself. I do this often without realising and theres only so much you can talk about in regard to mental health. Though there are still lots of topics to tackle that I haven't touched I don't know how to approach them. This is going to take some time.
As for the more unrelated posts like this one and similar ones before it should I delete them? I don't feel they serve any real purpose in helping people and just degrades this blog into a personal rant site which is not what I had intended at all. I am so frustrated and angry with myself.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Atos home appointment set and personal dreams.

It has been a while I know and I am sorry to both my readers and to myself. I want to write so much more often than I currently am but as always my physical health makes it very hard. I will think of something eventually I guess.

So a letter from ATOS stating the date and time for my home assessment, 7th of July, arrived today. Almost one year after applying for Personal Independence Payment in the UK. I am of course freaking out. In order to stay as calm as possible I just keep repeating to myself over and over again that it doesn't matter, I don't matter, nothing matters. So long as I hold no hope, desire or expectation for anything at all or sense of self preservation then I am able to keep my anxiety from turning into a full blown panic attack. Though I wonder how well that trick will work on the day of the assessment with a stranger sitting across from me in my home, my sanctuary from the world of madness outside... We shall see.
I fully expect that my application for PIP will ultimately be rejected and I will have to spend another year going through the appeals process. Why go through all this trouble? I don't want to trust me. In fact I don't want the money but sadly because of the way modern society is constructed I do need it to survive which is infuriating. I would love nothing more than to find a cave somewhere and live out my life in solitude there but I'm not so foolish as to think I could actually survive. I live with my grandparents and am nothing but a burden on them. My grandmothers memory is slipping and she often repeats things many times thinking she's saying them for the first time. My grandfather is registered blind. I am ashamed to be a burden on them. I should have a job, my own place etc but I know I am not capable of it. The money from PIP may give me just enough to afford a place of my own and I would no longer be such a pathetic burden on my family.

While thinking of the forth coming ATOS assessment my mind turned to possible things I could make employment out of. I spend hours on Google Earth using street view to explore the rural areas of Japan for small village shrines and Buddhist altars etc. I have a deep obessession for Japan in general but particularly the historic culture, away from the cities. It got me to thinking, if I were to travel to Japan and spend a few months exploring the out of the way areas that interest me culturally could I write about it or video it and somehow turn that into some sort of travel documentary employment? Would anyone at all be interested in such content? How would I turn such a thing into payed employment? Self employment? So many questions and no answers to a probably impossible dream.
Firstly I don't have a passport and secondly where would I get the funds to do that kind of trip? The more I think about it the more impossible it sounds. Yet I still dream of it. The only dream I have left that I hold onto. Maybe one day... maybe...

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A beautiful day to be a caged bird.

It's a beautiful day outside. I should go outside, I'd  like to go outside but I can't bring myself to do so. It's like I'm fighting against myself physically in this struggle between oppositions.
I could go out for a walk but after being assaulted so many times in the past by complete strangers for no reason I can't bring myself to go out anymore.
I could sit in the garden and just relax in the sun but no doubt neighbours will try to talk to me. People talking to me is the last thing I want.
So here I stay in my cage made of escapism and walls that I have made for myself in order to cope.
Some would think me mad, others would call me pathetic but I am what I am and I am fine with it.

If only people could let me be who I am and let me be alone.

Is that last part so much to ask?

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is
to become so absolutely free that your very
existence is an act of rebellion.” —Albert Camus

Monday, 12 May 2014

ATOS health assessment appointment. Letter received.

It has been some time since I last posted. Mostly because I write part of a post and then forget what it was I wanted to write while in the actual process of writing it. So have numerous unfinished posts that will never see the light of day.
So I have come to a decision to just post unfinished posts from now on and if I forget what it was I wanted to say perhaps someone out there can help me remember. We shall see. Think of this as an experiment.

ATOS, Hospital, Crippling migraine pain, fear, anxiety, realization that none of it matters, panic.

Last week I finally received a letter from ATOS 9+ months after applying for Personal Independant Payment. Of course I instantly started panicking, "This is it, my only source of income will be stopped because of government bureaucracy. What will I do? How will I survive?", this is what I was thinking though through most of it I wasn't thinking at all and just mindlessly panicking. I was terrified. After a couple of days I finally managed to calm down to a reasonable level though still badly agitated. Coping only by convincing myself that none it was really happening, that none of this exists and so none of it matters.

ATOS naturally has a very poor reputation and with good reason. I have linked two videos below for those who don't know what ATOS is and what they do. I have also added the direct links to the videos in case the embedding doesn't work.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_SEpwFBhqA4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
http://youtu.be/_SEpwFBhqA4

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/n3t4GUuZQqI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
http://youtu.be/n3t4GUuZQqI

During my panicking I reached out to people on twitter in a mindless plea for help. I wasn't thinking in the least. I just needed the comfort of knowing that I wasn't alone and would have people to turn to if everything did go wrong. I'm sorry to those I bothered, some of whom I barely even know.

The only reason I am not mad with fear and panic right now is because since I live with my grandparents I have very low outgoings financially and a small amount of money saved. So if my only source of income is stopped I can continue for a short while without it. The question is what do I do after that? What alternate source of income could I find? I can't work, no sane employer would hire someone who can barely stay awake for 3-4 hours at a time, suffers from chronic migraines everyday and is terrified to interact with people on any level. What sort of employer do you know would hire someone like that?
So thats the big question.... what do I do to survive? I have no idea.

This all culminated it seems into a migraine so painful over the weekend that the pain almost drove me to making a hospital visit. People seem to marginalize the pain felt during a migraine as just a form of headache. It is not. The pain generated is excruciating.

Today I have a doctors appointment to discuss having my ATOS appointment at my own home rather than traveling to a place I don't know alone to be judged and manipulated by a stranger as to the intimate details of my health situation. I would never travel anyway, I barely leave the house. So hopefully I can at least get a home appointment organised. After that... I don't know. We shall see and thats want I don't like. I have no power over my own life. None at all but then have any of us really had any power over our own lives to begin with? I have to wonder.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

I am still alive...

... though barely. Have been very ill these past few months which is why I haven't updated in that time. Very difficult for me to focus or even think. Staying awake for more than a couple of hours is a struggle. I'm trying out some alternate methods and if they work I will have a few posts up within the next month.
Apologies for the wait.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Suicide follow up / clarification

I failed to anticipate the reactions some people would have to my previous post about Suicide would be. I failed to take into account that most people do not live with depression or the threat of suicide constantly and so maybe confused and or shocked by my frank and open discussion of the topic.
I didn't realise that I may have painted an unintentional picture that I am in immediate danger of taking my own life. This is not the case.
I was born this way, depression and the threat of suicide in my daily life is part of who I am. For some people depression and suicide is brought on by specific life events such as for example the death of a loved one. For myself my brain is genetically predisposed to depression and suicide. It's the way my brain is built and so I have always been this way since childhood onwards and always will be this way. It's not something that can be fixed through counseling as trying to do so is equivalent to trying to cure cancer through counseling. It just isn't possible.
As there currently is no cure for cancer there is no cure for my genetically flawed brain. As with cancer there are only treatments. In my case I take 60mg of Fluoxetine a day to stabilise my mood. I never feel happy but thanks to the medication and my self imposed isolation I don't often have crippling bouts of suicidal levels of depression either.

While I'm writing perhaps I should go into more detail. While most people see the world filled with colour and life my own mind sees the world in lifeless monochrome. Nothing feels real to me and I often feel empty of all emotion. Or it's possible that I do feel emotion but am unable to recognise it for what it is until after the fact. It's difficult to care about anything even yourself when the only thing that feels real to you is your own mind.

Much of what I'm talking about here and in previous posts maybe difficult for some people to understand or even find shocking. Please remember that this is who I am just in the same way you may be shy or aggressive. It's the way our brains are built. Just as people have difficulty understanding me and my view on life I find it difficult to understand other people and their cares and thoughts.

I have taken this quote for the use in not only Depression and having the capacity for suicide but also aspergers syndrome. I feel it may help convey to others what it's like or perhaps just the differences.

"If the neurotypical (NT) mind is a boat, my mind is a bike. NTs don't get that.
They just think I run a mighty strange boat. They assume I'm in the water and have an engine and a rudder and occasionally jump over the side for a nice swim. They assess and judge me in terms of boats and, when I'm not boat-like, they assume there's something wrong with my boat.
But I'm a bike. I'm not compatible with boat rules. I steer with handlebars, use pedal power, and I don't jump over the side because it's a hard road I'll land on. If they could be made to understand that I'm a bike, they would then see that all of my behaviour is logical - for a bike rider.
Then I could teach them about bikes, and they could teach me about boats.
Source: a posting onaspergeradults.ca in 2008"
I can't understand people who obsess over money and they probably can't understand why I am the way I am and that's fine. We can be who we are without having to be in eachothers heads so long as we just accept each other for who we are.
Now I feel I am ramblings so I will end this post here.
One thing I will finish this post with however is my own confusion at peoples fear of death. Death comes to us all so fearing it is ridiculous to me. Yet thinking that is exactly why people think me strange. It's a two way street of misunderstanding and confusion.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Migraines, an interview with HuffintonPost Live

While waiting to watch Stephen Fry live on the HuffingtonPost website I unexpectedly came across a segment about Migraines just before it that certainly spoke to me and I felt it important enough to share with you. It covers both the physical and mental health aspects of suffering from migraines as well as the social cost.

The Dangers Of Chronic Migraines http://huff.lv/18J9c3B via @HuffPostLive

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Suicide

While I am feeling partially coherent for now I thought I would take the opportunity to quickly tackle one of the subjects I wanted to talk about before I end up incapacitated by dizziness again.

Suicide. An ugly and taboo word to most, a saving grace for some and an escape for others. I will be talking about my own experiences with attempted suicide, the motivations and feelings.
I have in the past attempted to take my own life but contrary to popular belief I haven't actually planned out my suicide. I do however fantasize about my death, I often imagine hanging myself from a tree in an isolated and quiet area. I don't want or need an audience. These are just fantasies however and they seem to help calm me when I feel anxious or on the edge of panic. I don't know why thoughts of my own death calm me but they do. I haven't ever written a suicide note, set a place or time to take my own life or anything else people imagine to be the standard for taking ones own life. My motivations for suicide and the shape it takes are quite different. When faced with something I can't cope with, which invariably is caused by other people, be it something small or large doesn't matter. My reaction of panic and an overwhelming desire to escape take control. Your not able to think when in this state, your only desire being to get away from whatever is causing you to panic. It could be a person, a sound, a general overwhelmingness of sensory bombardment. You just want everything to stop so you can breathe. Almost like a form of Claustrophobia but for many variable situations rather than just the one of enclosed spaces. You have to get out, you can't breathe, you want time to stop but none of that happens so the closest thing? Death.
I remember one time particularly when a boss at one of my previous workplaces ordered me to work in an area I didn't like working in. A small, tiny thing that could have been sorted by conversation.... maybe. You'd have to have known the person who was my boss at the time. Not a pleasant man.
This small incident sent me into the familiar course of panic, flee and seeking of escape. I just walked straight out of my work place and headed for the nearest tall place that was sure to take my life should I fall from it. I wasn't thinking, I couldn't think. It was impossible to. All that repeated in my mind was that I had to get away. What I was actually about to do never seemed to me at the time like a permanent solution to a temporary problem. For hours I would stand fighting with myself upon such high places ready to take my own life for the ironic desire to breathe.
After years of many such incident, through which I obviously survived, I spent a lot of time thinking about why I did this. How I could stop it or at least lessen it's effect.
I found that people were my trigger and a powerful one at that. Ever since I have isolated myself at home and so long as I continue to take my medication I am reasonably ok.
Yet every time I have attempted to go out that familiar sense of panic and desire to escape rises up.
I can never lead a standard life without the high risk of spontaneous suicide.
These feelings only become stronger as I get older. Eventually I will die by my own hand I am certain of that rather than of natural causes. It could be tomorrow or decades from now. It's only a matter of time.
I am comfortable with the idea of my own death but I don't want to live in constant panic and anxiety. I want to live in peace, quiet and isolation.

This is actually a much deeper subject than just my own experiences however so I will end this post here and think about what sub-topic I can write about next on the same issue.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

More ill than usual.

I have lots of topics I want to write about but this past week or longer, I can't tell as time blurs together for me, my migraines have been much worse. Normally my head pain feels like my head is being crushed in a vice everyday, all day. A mixture of painkillers, icepacks, silence and darkness to keep the pain tolerable. However lately the pain has been spiking to a level where it feels as if something is inside my skull trying to burst out violently. If you've ever seen the "Aliens" film think the scene where they burst from peoples chests but then instead imagine them bursting from my skull. The pain was so excruciating I almost went to the hospital in desperation for some pain relief. Even if they had to induce coma. I was nearing my limit. Then slowly it settled back into my regular level of pain.
This is why I haven't written anything lately despite wanting to. Either too incoherent with pain or partially unconscious.

I will write about employment and mental health issues like I promised in my last post but also I recently watched the film "The Bridge" about the Golden Gate bridge and it's attraction for people who are suicidal. So I will talk about that as well, suicide, motivations for it, sensory over load, disconnection from reality and many other topics. I'll have to keep a list as I keep forgetting them because of the pain and the side effects of the medication.

Now I will go pass out again. Maybe I can sleep off some of the pain.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Pain, so very much pain. It never stops.

I never used to understand why some people would take their own lives over physical pain. Thanks to my constant migraines however I finally understand just how much pain the human body can generate and it is an obscene amount.

I went to my meeting with someone from the local council in the Social Work department this morning for a "Benefits check" set up by my social worker. Now I want to make something very VERY clear right off. I hate money, I don't want money and it disgusts me that I need money to survive in our society. If I could I would live my life happily isolated in an out of the way cave far from any civilisation and living off the land. I'm not stupid enough to think I could actually do that though. I'm not some hardened land foraging native who grew up learning how to survive off the land with ease. Though I wish I was just so I could escape society. I and everyone else needs money to survive in our society because thats the way our society is built sadly. It's disgusting and makes me physically sick to think about it but there is no way to change such an ingrained part of our culture. So we live with it as best we can.

Because of my health issues both physical and mental it means I cannot work and so need financial support from the government. Which I am glad is there and that I live in Scotland for if it wasn't I would have become homeless and died on the streets many many years ago before now.

Back to the meeting I hated every second of it. The person I met with was very nice, understanding and supportive. The best person you could hope to have in such a situation but that never ever stops my issues from flaring up. I felt sick, dizzy uncomfortably hot and as if my heart was about to be crushed under it's own weight. I was barely even there for an hour at most yet when I left I could already feel the usual twinge and crawling sensation in my skull that signals the coming of one of my worst migraines which are always brought on when I spend anytime out and about around people and noise. I returned home and fell immediately into bed but like always just tossed and turned for ten hours unable to sleep and in ever growing pain and nausea.
I woke briefly for an hour only to pass out again and sleep fitfully until now.

I currently have a freshly frozen icepack on my head, and my stomach is rattling with painkillers. The lights are off, I'm wearing my prescription sunglasses to block as much light as possible which is only coming from my laptop monitor which is at it's lowest brightness it can go to. All while I write this. This is a daily situation for me. This is how I spend my waking hours every day.

Once again back to the meeting. I keep digressing sorry. We talked, asked me about my ability to do certain tasks and looked over my psychological reports and such other paper work. Eventually she came to the conclusion that I could apply for PIP (Personal Independence Payment) though whether I would actually get it is anyones guess. I personally don't believe I will be awarded it from simple cynical realism. I don't believe in the fairy tale concept of fairness that other people do because it does not exist in reality. Just a fact of life. This is neither a negative or positive view simply a realistic one. No point giving yourself false hope after all.
The process for application involved a phone call, thankfully the person I met with did most of the talking and I just had to agree to some statements. Even that was too much though. I cannot express just how much I hate phones. I don't even own one I hate them that much.

So the process has begun for PIP, it's 1am as I write this and the silence around me is very comforting.

After writing this lengthy post I think that my next post should be a detailed one about employment to help people understand why I and other people with mental health issues can't get or hold down jobs. Trust me it is NOT because we don't want to work. However thats a subject for a later date. For now I will pass out from pain once again.

Good night everyone and I hope that my posts are at least helping to educate some of you out there what it's like to live with mental health issues. If they aren't please reply and with a constructive comment tell me how I could improve my posts to educate people.
Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Place holder

Just had my meeting with someone at the Social Work department about my case. I am glad to be home now. I don't want to think about it. This post is really just a place holder/reminder for me to write about it fully later.
For now I just want to forget that the outside worlds even exists.

Lost friendships found once more? Maybe?

So while going through some old paperwork related to my health issues etc for a meeting I have with a social worker I unexpectedly came across an old letter from my room mate back at Edinburgh University.

Now I thought I had lost the letter and had given up hope of ever getting in contact with her again but with finding the letter maybe theres a chance... Assuming she hasn't moved home.

We both have mental health issues which we knew when we moved in together and over the course of the year I think we developed a strange sort of unspoken friendship. We were and still are very reticent and prefer to be alone so never talked much but still something formed between us and I want to try and rekindle that friendship if I can get in touch with her.

I find it confusing how our friendship formed. At no point can I say "This is when we started to become friends" it just sort of happened. Despite our clear social issues and phobias.

I think perhaps we both gave eachother the space we needed without constantly intruding on one another or bugging eachother. Perhaps we became like a comfortable sweater. ^_^ heh.

And so now to attempt to reforge that sentiment anew. Let us hope she still lives at the address written on the letter.

Hong Kong is a long way away after all. Not like I can travel there and search for her like I could in my own country.

Social work, housing and relationships?

So for years I have been trying to get my own home and live as independently as possible. However cost, red tape and bureaucracy have made it impossible and frustrating.
Recently however I had my first meeting with a Social Worker who has begun to help me with these issues. It's early days and I have no illusions about how long it may take to get my own place so I'm being patient. When your house bound for whatever reason you kind of have to be patient. ^_^ heh

Something regarding relationships came up briefly during my meeting with the Social Worker. A subject I hadn't thought about in many years. I had assumed because of both my physical and mental health issues AND my lifestyle that no one would want to have a relationship with me. Now though... I've started thinking about it again and I don't really know what to think. It also affects my choice of where to live.

My plan is to either move to the country along the coast or to the centre of the City of Edinburgh. Within the city I would have a much easier time of meeting someone and help that relationship to grow as well as the museums and librarys etc. (I love to learn. What can I say? I'm not a NED.) However the city is filled with constant noise and people... so many people. Both of which I hate and just make my health issues worse. If I stay away from people I tend to be relatively stable. The country however is peaceful, quiet and beautiful but it doesn't exactly have the best in the ways of infrastructure.
There are pros and cons to both and I must decide on one. I don't know which to choose however. I'm stuck.
I want the peace and quiet of the country but the convenience of the city. An unrealistic desire I know whic means I will HAVE To decide. It may just take some time.

I will go into more detail on relationships and mental health issues at a later date. It is a huge subject fraught with many contradictions and pitfalls so expect a lengthy post.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Physical health issues

I have been a mostly physically healthy person throughout my childhood into adulthood but around the age of 25 I started developing headaches which were a minor nuisance at first slowly grew over the years to constant crippling migraines everyday all day. (Which is one of the many reasons I haven't updated this blog till now. Sorry.) Piankillers don't work most of the time and when they do they barely take the edge off.
I have a lot of trouble staying awake so find myself partially unconscious for most of the day but never truly asleep. I constantly toss and turn and am fully aware of it, so my guess is that I am barely dozing at best and never really reach REM sleep which is where your body is able to get it's best form of rest.
I use a combination of occassional painkillers and rotated frozen icepacks when I am awake to deal with the pain as best I can. I'm not sure why but the ice packs help me stay awake that little bit longer and help me be a little more alert.
The worst part for me personally is being unable to concentrate, being in a constant drowsy daze. For me my mind is who I am. NOT my body. My body is irrelevant and so being unable to even use my mind for the things I want is very frustrating and upsetting. I have yet to find something that can help me with that. And no caffeine doesn't work. Trust me, I've tried all sorts.
Strangely though I can't stay awake during the daylight hours I CAN however stay awake much more easily during the night. Granted still in pain and with the usual drowsy daze I'm always in but rather than falling asleep every 2 to 4 hours I can sometimes stay awake for 6 or if I'm very lucky a full 8 hours before slipping into my usual fitful sleep. I'm guessing it has something to do with light sensitivity though I have always had an easier time of staying awake at night rather than the day so I cannot say that with all certainty.
Various other physical health issues which would turn this post into a novel I will forego writing about here. Suffice to say I find it difficult to live any other sort of life than the house bound hermit. Considering I prefer to be alone this isn't a bad thing. I just wish I could use my mind more freely than I can right now.

To be able to actually remember things both short and long term would be a wonderful thing to start with.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Mental and physical health versus Social ignorance.

This will be a new blog covering my day to day struggles with my own health issues both mental (Depression, Aspergers, Social fear etc) and physical health issues (Chronic and severe migraines, extreme drowsiness).

I will go over how it affects me, how I feel, how I am tackling it and how others treat me because of it.

This is just an opener post for now. A place holder so to speak. More will be added later.