I was lost, but now…………….

Truthfully, I have been putting this blog off for ages. I actually have no idea what I am going to write to be honest, but I will say, there are some things in my head that are not good so there could be some triggering content. Please, if you are in a bad place, I urge you to consider whether this blog may be the best thing to read. You and your health is much more important than reading the random blabberings of this daft arse.

I feel like so much has happened over the last month or so, I have no idea where it all started. “It” being the current, horrendous bout of my arsehole mate Depression.  This time it is definitely on par with 2017, and in some ways, I actually feel worse. I feel like I have been emptied out. That I am a shell.  I have done the opposite of what I did last time and I have completely retreated. I am doing  the bare minimum. Breathing is proving to be a struggle. I have lost all desire to exercise, which I love and I know it makes me feel better. I feel like I have completely lost my way with Red Balloons and I have no idea what the fuck is happening with it all.  I feel like all I am doing is messing people around. Hurting those that mean the most to me, confusing them as they don’t know who this Claire is either. I have lost the complete ability to talk. To anyone. Properly. I feel like what I am feeling and what I have to say is utter shit and why the hell would anyone need this when they have their own issues?

The worst part is when I do start to open up, even just a tiny bit, I feel like I get shot back down. Or that I am saying the wrong thing and making things worse. I am so fucking confused that I really don’t know my arse from my elbow at the minute, which could make toilet time rather interesting! I think from how I come across, face to face, as a professional, in social situations, it can be very easy to forget and very difficult to understand that this is an illness. This isn’t me being a dickhead, just cos I can. You would know when that was occurring because quite frankly I am a GIANT dickhead. I don’t hide things on purpose, I don’t close off because I think it’s the best thing for me, I have just lost complete and utter control!

Let’s be honest, circumstances have in the past and still do have a lot to do with where my state of mind goes. I have people tell me I am strong, yet I have never felt more weak. I have had to make some very serious decisions recently, I have had to put me and my sanity (or what is left of it) first. And for someone who never does that, it has been a bloody horrible experience, as I can see first hand the pain that I am causing. I know 100% that walking away is the right thing to do, for both of us. If I have to be a bitch about things to get my point across, I will! Because when my Mam turned around and said, if you go back Claire, I will be forever worried and waiting for the call that you have killed yourself, I actually saw the genuine fear in her eyes. I saw just what my frame of mind is doing to other people. The thing is, she very nearly go that call a hell of a lot sooner.

The other Saturday it all became just too much to bear. I ended up in a place I swore that I wouldn’t be in again. I felt so desperate. So incredibly lonely. Those feelings of worthlessness and despair came back so strong, they took my breathe away. I was crying so much I thought my heart was actually breaking. All I could see was me being the common denominator in every thing that has happened. All the shit that has happened, I seem to be the centre of it. These people, through my life, they can’t all of been wrong? I am a bad person. I do bad things. I hurt people. I cause issues. I make messes. I am a fraud. A faker.

I don’t want to die. Truly I don’t. But at that moment in time, the only way I could see any way of making any of this better, to stop all the hurt, pain and confusion, was to take me out of the equation. I sat on my kitchen floor, all the medication I could find in front of me. I sat like that for hours. Willing myself to just take them. To just do what needed to be done.  I could see history repeating itself. My children thinking that certain ways of living are acceptable. I may be a certified psycho, there are people out there that would love to use my mental health issues against me and would be happy to take my children off me (never ever going to fucking happen) but one thing I know is I am the best Mam I can be. I wont ever be Mary fucking Poppins, or that lass from the old Bero cookbooks. I may not get all creative with them, making paper mache models or whatnot. I may not have the money to buy them loads of stuff, or take them all over. But what I do know is I would literally die for them. I have so much love to give them. I am so in awe of the two amazing people that they are growing up to be, despite the fact that, let’s face it, I have had my part to play in messing them up!

 

So, it is time to step up now. To show them what they deserve to see. What I deserve to feel. How, despite all odds, you can come back from the brink of despair, even if you were hanging on by your fingertips! I WILL be stronger. Everything happens for a reason and there is a reason I didn’t take all those tablets that night. There is a reason why I have done what I have done. Why I am feeling what I am feeling. I won’t have anyone make me feel bad for being me. There is a reason that certain people are in my life.

I am going to step back because I need to see just what I have achieved and built over the last 2 years. With Red Balloons, with friendships and relationships, with my children. These things are going to be the motivation I need. At the same time, I need to step back and really shine the spotlight on myself. I need to finally, really believe in myself as a person. I need to find me. I need to find my fun side. I need to learn to relax and to not put so much pressure on myself over everything.

As my very wise daughter said to me, I won’t let anyone love me the right way while I don’t love myself. I need to respect myself. To not accept anything less than I deserve. This is going to ruffle a hell of a lot of feathers. But I tell you what, I REFUSE point blank to be sat on that kitchen floor again. I am a good person. I have a huge heart. I deserve back what I give out. I want to feel safe, protected, understood, supported and the rest and I will not accept anything less. From myself and from anyone else. I won’t run on anyone else’s time scale. I won’t feel pressured or controlled. No one has control over my destiny apart from me. I will always fight for what I believe in. I am no quitter.

So yeah, watch out, because I’m coming back! And this comeback is going to fucking epic!

But first, time to relax and enjoy the summer. Hopefully with those that mean the world to me.

A massive THANK YOU to those people who haven’t given up on me recently. Who have just accepted me as I am. Who have just been there. Who have never given up on me, despite everything.

You’s are my light in the dark.

CC xx

One of those days!

I don’t know if I would like to class myself as “lucky”, but I have had a good run of good days. Actually no, great days to be fair! Considering it is the school holidays and with being off work still, lack of routine often messes me up completely, I have managed quite well. Being so busy with Red Balloons, enrolling at uni and my Great North Run training has definitely helped (not actually sure how I had time to go to work!).

I suppose this is why I am taking this bad day a bit harder than I should or normally would. It has completely snuck up on me. I could have just pretended I was OK and got on with things but I have genuinely learnt a lot through my CBT and about myself recently. It would not be fair to myself. or to anyone that follows me and what I do if I lied. I am getting good and celebrating the good days, where I used to spend them expecting the worst. In the spirit of being a genuine mental health campaigner though, I cant and I wont, give up being honest.

Now, first off, my bad days are considerably different to what they were. I don’t want to die, I don’t want to not exist, I don’t spend all day thinking how pathetic/useless/worthless/ugly/fat and all the rest, I am. I can still recognise that I have a lot of pretty amazing stuff going and I appreciate that under all this fog, I will still be excited. The light IS at the end of the tunnel, I just seem to have ran back a bit for some reason. So it is a bit further away than it was the other day.

Ironically, considering I blog, I am not the best at actually describing things so I will do my best to explain how I feel.

I feel sad. I feel lonely. I feel like it is too much effort to turn the corners of my mouth up and smile even though I know for a fact it will make me feel better. I don’t want to get out of bed (actually blogging from there right now) yet I feel like I should be doing loads of stuff. I haven’t ran yet and I feel crap but at the minute I just don’t have the energy. I am finding it hard to concentrate, even on mind numbing TV like Homes under the Hammer. My attention is distracted easily. I caught myself scrolling through social media and not having a clue what I had even seen!

So, here comes the pathetic part (in my opinion). I just want a cuddle. I want someone to look after me. I know I have people who love and care for me, but I want to feel like I matter. It is irritating the crap out of me even writing this! But this is how I feel. I feel like I want and need to cry but the tears wont come. I want someone to take everything off my shoulders, just for a little while. I want to fussed and made to feel special. I don’t want to feel like I am expected to do everything myself. I want to be a first thought in someone’s mind, because of who I am, not what I do.

Eurgh!! I hate it when I am like this. I am strong, independent woman, and I really am! But here is the truth, I DO need people. I do need support. I do need to feel wanted. I need to feel needed. I don’t want any more babies and I never will, but for the first time I miss my babies being babies. All I wanted this morning was to have them laid on my shoulder like they used to, listening to their little breath in my ear and watching their tiny fingers curl and uncurl. Smelling that unique baby smell.

In that moment I was someone’s whole universe. Although both my experiences were very different, I know now I didn’t appreciate those moments fully. I even miss the middle of the night moments where it felt like we were the only people in the world. The deep, dark silence but content that they were exactly where they needed to be. The only time I think I have ever liked silence if I think about it. Silence is normally my enemy.

I hope this is just hormones. I really do. Although I hate Mother Nature, I need her to make an appearance as I know that if she does, everything will make sense and I will feel a sense of relief. Everything will make sense again. I hate that I keep snapping at people, especially Noah. My already restricted level of patience is hanging on by a thread and although I hate this miserable feeling, the anger stage is even worse and I don’t want that to surface. I may be nicer these days but I still have the potential to be most horrible bitch you have EVER met.

I just cant be arsed with this crap in general. So now I have had my whinge I need to turn things round. I accept I am having a bad day, but I don’t have to let it grow and become worse. I need to self care. If that is lying in bed until I can be arsed to run, so be it. If it is doing Red Balloons work then I will. I know my idea of self care is a bit crazy to some people, but it is all better than nothing. Maybe I will take some daft selfies? What I will do though is keep being honest. I wont hide away. I will reach out to my friends if I need to. If anyone wants to take on the task of making me laugh, I encourage that you do!

Normally, old CC would have apologised for being like this and even writing this. But this one wont. I am human. I cant help sometimes being an angry, upset mess of a woman. Sometimes I think we need to throw a gigantic pity party!! With loads of wine and shots and chocolate and parmo. Cheesy music, questionable dancing and even worse singing! That is the BEST part of being a lass I think! Faye, we need to sort this!

I love blogging. I feel a bit better already. Kind of like I have gave myself a good talking to. I have taken a few deep breathes and will just take today hour by hour. No actual plans. Just, be and do.

For anyone who is feeling it today, we are in this together.

It really is ok not to be ok!

Love

CC xx

 

You’re more than a piece of paper!

It’s that time of year again, RESULTS DAY!

The day that students nationwide find out how they did over the last year. I can barely remember mine to be honest but then I suppose it was a century ago! No in all seriousness, I can’t but I’m not sure why. Maybe I was that anxious my brain has kind of deleted it, or maybe I was incredibly chilled as at that point I was an “adult” and it didn’t matter? I’d do what I wanted any way and I had found the joys of alcohol and boys! Nothing else really mattered now I finally had a taste of freedom that many of my friends had had for a couple of years before me.

If I look back, yes I know I could have done better. Up until the last year I suppose I have given myself a hard time for “messing up” and basically living my life arse over tit. But, and it is a Kim Kardashian of a but, I didn’t mess up! I know that now!

It can seem like those results on that sheet of paper are your whole existence, crammed into a few grades. Yes, I know that for certain courses and futures, grades are important, to a degree (pun not intended but suitably amusing). The thing is, that sheet of paper is just 1 tiny fraction of who you are. If you have got what you need, CONGRATULATIONS!! That is truly fantastic and I wish you all the luck and success in the future.

However, here is the important part. If you haven’t, it might seem like it, but it is NOT the end. You are NOT a failure. You are NOT a disappointment. You are you. And in the words of Dr Suess, no one can be youer than you! You have so much more to offer than a few grades. There are always other options. There is always an alternative route. There are always people who will love and support you for WHO you are, not what grades you got.

OK, I got decent grades. I just didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life. Well except for have fun and do all the things that I felt I had missed out on growing up. So I basically just bumbled through life. Now I look back though and I think, these experiences, the job roles I have had, have all shaped me in some way. They have gave me skills that I may not have otherwise gained. My favourite part is the people who I have in my life though, because of these jobs. Hand on heart I am in touch with practically no one from school or college, apart from being “Facebook friends” maybe. Let’s be honest, I am certainly not the person they will have known either, looks wise and the rest (I like to think I have slightly improved with age!)

Bar Manager. Travel Agent. Business Support Officer. These are the roles I had. Good roles, for large organisations. I got there on my own merit and in some of them worked my way up from the bottom. I did that! NOT my grades at school. Me! Through hard work, through my personality, through wanting to do a good job and not letting anyone else in my team down.

But here is the best thing about my little education story, well in my opinion anyway. I am a 33 ( nearly 34) year old, I have a nearly 14 year old daughter and a 5 year old son. I have mental health problems – Depression and Anxiety mainly BUT I am about to embark on possibly the biggest educational challenge I have had to date. I am going to university! Yep, me!

Yeah I am concerned for various reasons but I have worked hard over the last year to get to this position. So what if I am in my 30’s? I think this actually gives me an edge. I have life experience. Jeez do I?! I am learning because I WANT to, not because my family or society EXPECT me to. I know exactly what I want the end result to be so I can focus and keep my eye om the prize. I know exactly what route I need to take. In fact I am as in control as I think anyone at this point could be.

Whatever happens at university though, I know now who I am. I am beginning to realise my self worth. All the things that have happened in my life have happened for a reason and I believe finally, despite all the pain, anger and suffering I have endured, I am on the right path.

You have to make mistakes sometimes to learn. You have to experience failure to really highlight to yourself what you want. Were you bothered that you failed at so and so? No? Then ask yourself if it was the right thing for you. Yes? Then you know that that is what you want and you start again! Life is not a computer game. There is no limit to the amounts of “Start Again”. Keep going until you get to where you WANT to be.

If you don’t know what you want yet, that is OK! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And certainly do not live your life for someone else. It is great that your Dad wants you to be a doctor, but, do you??

Age is but a number. Grades are but a letter/word. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to be happy.

You may not be feeling what I am saying right now, but please keep it in the back of your mind. If you feel down, hopeless, worthless or upset, if you feel anxious and scared for the future, reach out for help. There will always be someone there to listen.

If things haven’t gone the way you wanted today, there is always tomorrow. Always a blank page. Always a Plan B.

Love

CC xx

 

Bucking the trend!

I was reading an article in Women’s Health while I was away about how we don’t “blow our own trumpet” enough and are more likely to dismiss our achievements in order to conform to what society expects us to be like.

I am here today, on this blog to say – sod that!!

If you read this and think I am so far up my own backside then fair enough. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and I certainly don’t appeal to everyone! But today is about me celebrating me! I am my own worst enemy generally, I give myself way too hard a time, slag myself off, put myself down and just generally treat myself like crap 90% of the time. It’s sad but it is very true. I would NEVER treat another person the way I treat myself so why I think it is ok is a mystery to me. Maybe most of it is my mate Depression and his equally horrible bestie Anxiety. They really do have a sick ability to warp your mind! But then maybe a lot of it has been my past experiences and the way my brain has been “trained” to think over the years. I have never ever felt good enough in any aspect of my life. Never clever enough, never pretty enough, never nice enough, etc etc etc. I am sick to death of never being enough so today I am going to prove to MYSELF that I am enough. In fact, I can be pretty damn amazing at times!

So, it’s been 1 month since I last posted on here. I have missed the clicky clack of the keys way more than I realised. In that month, it has been a whirlwind! So, in no particular order, here are a few things I have achieved:

  • Passed my Access to Higher Education with a Merit overall! This means I am OFFICIALLY starting University to study Psychology next month! WOW!
  • I am meeting with the PR people of the Great North Run today as part of Red Balloons and Mind volunteer as they possibly want to use my story as promotional material! They will be filming and interviewing me and people who have kindly agreed to say a few nice things about what I am doing. Nervous as hell!
  • Red Balloons is sponsoring a match ball for the local football team
  • I pitched at Stockton Soup and managed to raise £160 from donations as well as gain some fantastic contacts.
  • Permission has been granted to run my Community Rounders Tournament on Bank Holiday and so far interest has been good!
  • I have been accepted onto a level 2 distance learning course in Counselling Skills
  • I have been chosen as a Mind Media Awards Shortlister for the Entertainment category! Not only do I get to read some simply inspirational stories, I get an opinion on who may win an award! I also get an invite to the awards themselves in November!

I look over that list and in one way I feel like I am reading about someone else. But no, that is all me! I have other projects in the pipeline too around helping mental health in my local area. I am so proud! I don’t do any of this for acknowledgement, but I deserve to be proud and feel comfortable shouting about what I am doing because I work damn hard! I FINALLY truly love what I do, and the fact that I can help others, well that alone is the biggest accomplishment I could ever ask for!

August is not going to be the quiet time that I was expecting and I am actually over the moon about that. I love being busy, I love being useful. I love brainstorming ideas, meeting people, discussing ideas and every single day growing a little bit more.

I have just come back from a 2 week unexpected holiday and for the first time in 2 years, I properly let myself go. I ate what I wanted, I drank enough to sink a fleet of ships and I didn’t really exercise at all. The thoughts were there but I just didn’t. Yes, yesterday had me feeling crappy especially as an epic headache put a pause on my first planned run. I was starting to slip into that place where I would wallow and this in turn would end up with me in a bad place. That I can spot these things now is an amazing thing for me. It shows I am finally getting the hang of controlling my thoughts a bit more (thank you CBT!) So, I made a plan! Not a detailed one as I realise I have been putting far too much pressure on myself.

I set my alarm for 430am and surprisingly got up without even snoozing my alarm once! I had my usual bucket of black coffee then laced up my trainers and got out for my first run in over 2 weeks. I was stiff, it was difficult but 2 miles later and I was done! Yes, I set off too fast but so what? Yes I ache now, but to me that is a pain of satisfaction! And I know what I need to work on. I was honestly beginning to think I had lost my love of running but I know now I had just dulled my spark. I was focusing on the wrong things and beating myself up every time I thought I had failed. There is no such thing as failure if you simply try! Sometimes trying is the hardest thing you will do in a day.

So there we go. CC’s trumpet has been well and truly blown today and I personally think it was a hell of a good tune! It does feel weird and I will no doubt feel like a self obsessed idiot when I publish this (Rome wasn’t built in a day after all) but I bucked the trend. I gave a proverbial finger to anyone who thinks it is wrong to shout about how awesome you are!

Thanks Depression, you are definitely changing me for the better! Whether you like it or not! Thank goodness for my stubborn streak  😉

Love

CC xx

“How are you?”

How are you? A compulsory day to day question! Everyone should ask at least one person a day this very question and actually MEAN IT! Then actually listen to the answer, don’t just hear the words though, look at the eyes, acknowledge the body language. See if the non verbal communication matches the verbal response.

But, and here is my conundrum,  what do you say when, to be completely honest, you don’t actually have any idea how you are?! That is where I am right now. Where I have been for much of this past week to be fair. I am not bad, I don’t think. I have loads going on and to be honest, a lot of it is incredibly positive! I am working hard, reaching out to people, being brave, or as I like to put it, not being a shy bairn. The worst thing that anyone can say is No. I can handle rejection, I’ve certainly had enough of it *ahem*.

But I feel, empty. Not sad, not angry, not confused (well no more than I usually am haha) but not particularly happy, relaxed or excited either. And I know I SHOULD be! I kind of just feel like I am existing at the moment. Which, don’t get me wrong, from some of the places I have been in my head, this is still a great thing! I want more than that! I want my moods to reflect what is going on in my life. What I am grafting my arse off to achieve!

Am I doing my whole self preservation thing again? Am I not so much expecting the worst at the forefront of my mind, but also not feeling very secure with where I am actually am? Thing is, and I know CBT is helping me slowly with this, but as I have said many times before *yawn* how the hell can I change 33 years of a certain way of thinking? Where, lets be honest, most things have fucked up!

The last few days I have been listening to more Elvis Presley again. Screenshot_20180615-123305.jpgStarted off by a programme I came across on TV. Thing is, I don’t always make the connection but after some reflecting in the bath this morning, I realise that when I am not feeling the best, or where I feel a bit lost with myself, I go back to him and his music. His voice, so familiar, so comforting. I may be a little raver girl, but Elvis is my one first, true love. Thing is, as much as he is a massive comfort, a massive musical hug, as much as he can make me feel safe and smile, he can also make me cry. Very much. There are a few songs that no matter what mood I am in, they reduce me to childlike sobbing. Yet, the pull of them, I cant resist. It’s like a compulsion, I HAVE to listen to them.

  • American Trilogy – absolute shoulder shaking sobbing
  • The Wonder of You – if you know, you know why. A VERY important song from my past.
  • Always on my Mind – love many versions of this song, but this one is the only one that brings the tears
  • Separate Ways – heart breaking. If you haven’t listened to it and actually HEARD the words, I urge you do!

There is an important day coming up this week, and to be honest I didn’t think I cared, although it seems maybe I do. Maybe after that day, the frustrating clouds will break again.

Fathers Day.

Now, I wrote a blog, a letter to my Dad last year. And I still stand by everything I wrote. I have drawn a line under that part of my life as much as I possibly can. And I have truly stopped blaming myself for all that. It was NOT my fault he was who he was, I was no less of a daughter just because I was not enough to be a choice over alcohol. But, hand on heart, I miss him. A lot. Not the greasy alcoholic he will no doubt be, if he is still alive. But my Daddy. The thing that pains me the most is, I never got to say goodbye. The last things I said to him were not very nice, yes he was being a dick, but I never knew that when  I walked away that day, I would never ever see or hear from him again. How do you honestly deal with that??

Yes, I miss my Nana more than words could EVER describe but I know I have somewhere I can go to feel close to her. I can talk to her when I need to (although I haven’t for a long time and I don’t know why 😦 ) and at times I can hear her voice, see her face as clear as the last time I saw her and feel her. With my Dad, I cant. As every day goes by, I lose a little bit more of him. It’s like my memories are starting to fade out, like that scene at the end of a film. I suppose that is why Elvis is so important to me and always will be. It is the only thing I have left of him.

Don’t get me wrong, it does help that Elvis was the most gorgeous man to ever walk this planet, with a voice like Galaxy chocolate! It’s certainly not like its a hardship loving him so much!

Ah there it is, my fail safe humour mechanism kicking in. The one I use every time I feel like I am getting too emotional. The thing is, it is one of my mind protecting qualities. I am not quite strong enough, even to this day. I think there are some things, some emotions I am just not ready to fully tackle. Just yet.

Maybe I just needed a bloody good cry. As much as you all know I hate it, sometimes it is like a cleansing thing. There is a lot in my life I cant change, many questions I have to accept I will never get answered. But I have to accept that I am allowed to feel this way. I am allowed to miss him, I am allowed to wonder what would have happened if things were different, I am allowed to feel that twinge of jealousy when I see ‘happy’ families. I am allowed to feel anger, hurt, disgust even.

I need to remember that I don’t have to pretend to always be the strong, independent one. It is ok to want my Dad, to want my Nana, to want a hug, to break down and cry and, yeah, as much as it sticks in my throat, to feel sorry for myself. I don’t want pity, I don’t deserve it. But I can have oh woah is me moments. It does not make me any less of a person, it doesn’t make me selfish or self indulgent. It makes me human. And I am, as much as I hate to admit it, I am human. I have feelings and emotions and I am fragile at times.

So, how am I? Well, I still don’t know to be fair. Crying, yes. Wanting a hug that will glue all my broken bits back together, oh yes please!

But yeah, I’m not bad.

Love

CC xx

Depression & Anxiety for Me.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will probably know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month and this week in particular is Mental Health Awareness Week. Personally, although I know everything has it’s own week, month, day etc, I really do believe these events are fantastic. And not just because I can be even more annoying and a social media nuisance more than normal. It really does make people sit back and think, It helps give those a tiny push to share their stories and get involved but most importantly, it sign posts people to where they can get help and support and ultimately, this can, and does, save a life!

Now, I cant talk for everyone, mental health affects everyone in its own unique way so these thoughts and feelings, as usual, are purely my own. What Depression and Anxiety are to me. You yourself may have different ways of perceiving them, or they may make you feel different but as with anything, we are unique to ourselves. It doesn’t mean we are suffering any more or less, it just means we are suffering in our own way. To add a positive spin to it too, we all cope and manage in our own way as well. As I have said before and I will always say, we are in this together. We are each others mutual support, we understand, we empathise and sympathise and ultimately, we are stronger together.

OK, so Depression. Firstly you may notice I spell them with capital letters, like names. This to me was my way of compartmentalising them. If I made them into “beings” it was easier for me to understand the effect they had over me, the control. It was easier to get my head round what was going on and easier to get things out of my head as I could, demonise them, I suppose is the best way to say it.

Depression hangs around me like a dark cloak that at times I find impossible to shake off. He (no offence to the male sex here, not saying you have any links, I just feel they are he’s) really likes to take full control. Of my mind, body and soul. If he manages to successfully infiltrate one of those three, it is VERY hard for me to stop him getting his dirty claws into the other two. He makes me feel worthless, he makes me feel ugly, he makes me feel stupid. He makes me think I am a burden to those around me, that I am just making peoples lives a misery and hanging onto them when I should be letting them drop me and go and make themselves happy. He makes me paranoid, like everyone is talking about me and judging me, that no one loves me and that they are all laughing at me behind my back. It is a horrible place to be. Everything loses it shine, goes dark and dull and even my favourite music can lose that spark it has to me when things are really bad. I listen to the words and hear an alternative, darker story than what I actually know it is saying.

Everything seems so difficult, from opening my eyes on a morning, to walking, to talking. I lose interest in pretty much everything. I get to the end of the day and I feel exhausted. Exhausted that I have had to survive another day. Not live, not when I feel at my lowest, but survive. I also feel anger and frustration. The anger scares me the most as when I lose it, I struggle to control it. In those moments, as brief as luckily they mainly are, I don’t care who I hurt. If I hurt this much, so should they. Horrible isn’t it? (disclaimer – I shouldn’t have to put this here but I think it is sensible that I do, I would NEVER physically harm my children, nor would I emotionally or mentally abuse them. They may see me mad or upset, that is a reality of suffering from a mental health issue. It is never directed at them. Fortunately I have that self control and maternal protection ingrained in me. Just saying. For the record!)

The thing is, Depression is a manipulator. He can get you truly believing these horrible things. He can give you the clarity to plan your own end of life with such terrifying detail and can have you act on it! He does not care, he plays to win. To him, with me, ultimately winning is death. My death. BUT, I have beat him back enough now that although I don’t and probably never will have ultimate control over him, I am using him against himself. All these feelings, all these actions I have done to myself are now my lived experience. My key to my future, to helping others understand, to helping others help themselves. I do very occasionally have fleeting thoughts now, but more about running away than dying. That is a massive relief to me!

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Now, Anxiety, Depressions annoying but equally as aggressive brother! He likes to play with your head in the other way, where Depression makes you not care, He makes you care too much. He makes you fear yourself, he makes you fear everything, he makes your head so busy that although Depression is exhausting you and all you want to do is sleep, you cant! He makes my heart beat faster, my palms itch and gives me the worst headaches where even my eye ball hurts. He makes it so I can enjoy the things I enjoy, if that makes sense? I cant relax. I can cant concentrate on reading, I cant sit still, my mind is whirring at the speed of a walzer and one fleeting worry escalates into one massive snowball of an issue! Yet at the same time, he also makes you feel stupid, but in the way that you believe no one would understand. Sleep becomes nigh on impossible for more than a few hours at a time as it is like a blind getting pulled open. A barrage of thoughts tumble into your dreams and before you know it you are watching the minutes pass by and the sun rise, wondering how the hell you are going to cope with what you have on that day. How will you face people? How will you get things done?

I have days where I am great, days where I am good, sometimes I am lucky where I have weeks, though months at a time seems a long way off at the moment. As an old manager used to say to me, I need to learn to walk before I can run. When you fall so far down the rabbit hole, you cant expect to be skipping in the meadow again within a certain time scale. Who knows how long it will take, but one thing is for sure, I will get there! That meadow has my name on it! There will be other rabbit holes scattered all over that meadow, I am intelligent and realistic enough to know I will probably never be able to not fall in one, life experiences and the way my brain functions put paid to that. You know what though, I think I am as OK with that as I can be.

For now, and hopefully for as long as I am trotting around on this earth, I will just continue to do what I can to spread the word and help whoever I can. I can certainly think of worse ways to live my life.

Love

CC xx

 

Just some things I felt like saying

It’s one of those days where I have the strong urge to blog and to get things out but at the same time I am not even sure what I actually have to say. Bit of a strange feeling to be honest, but as usual I am going to let my fingers do the talking. They do a much better job than my mouth anyway!

Maybe it is the fact that college is coming to an end that has got me pondering on things. I still remember the day vividly that I decided to take the leap and go back into education, after my volunteering and my story about exercise and running helping my mental health started the ball rolling into what is now a solid plan for my future. It has been a tough 9 months in a lot of ways. Our class got off to a bad start but we have made it to the end. We unfortunately lost a few people along the way but I am sure they will agree, we have made friendships that will last a long time. Even if I am the only one not studying social work haha.

What I rediscovered is, despite having to fight for motivation to get things completed sometimes, the downfall of doing these kind of things while fighting a tough mental health battle, is just how much I do really love to learn. I feel like a sponge. Of course there are parts that have little or no interest to me, but I take the rough with the smooth. At the end of the day, this was just a tiny stepping stone to where I need to end up. Am I nervous about starting university? Freaking terrified if I am completely honest. It’s not like I am a fresh faced 18/19 year old. I am a 33 year old, mother of 2 who is still fighting some pretty massive personal mental demons. But hey, one thing you should all know about CC by now, she is no quitter, she thrives on the pressure, even if it because it distracts her from the parts of her life that ultimately feel like a huge crash!

I know I need to give myself a break. I know I will do everything I can to succeed as becoming an Exercise Psychologist and working with those with mental health issues is quite honestly too important to me now. It has went from a tiny flicker of an idea to an “I want that and I will stop at NOTHING to get it!”. But the other parts of my brain, you know, my mates Depression and Anxiety, they need gagging! I am so sick of hearing “why are you bothering?” “no one is interested” “people are just sick of you now” “go back to the shadow of your former self” “you’ve never been worth anything to anyone before, what makes now so different?”

Vicious aren’t they? Who needs enemies?!

The thing is, the more I share my story, the more I put myself out there, the more I worry that people are just getting fed up with me. I am literally getting everywhere at the moment. I do share a lot, I post constantly, I put myself forward for pretty much everything. Why? Because it is important! I have been judged and talked about and the rest pretty much all my life for various reasons, sometimes even by the people who are meant to care about me. I am so sick of trying to be what everyone thinks I should be. So I am being me. In all glorious, technicolour annoyingness! And if you don’t like it, tough! Unfollow me, unfriend me, ignore me (oh wait, some of you already do that!) I don’t care anymore. If you cant support me at my worst, if you cant understand why I am doing this, if my fight to end stigma and shout about mental health illness at the top of my voice irritates you, you don’t deserve my time to be honest. Those that TRULY love me, are proud of me, support me and all the rest have now made themselves clear to me. So those are the people that deserve me and my time.

I realise now I have put a lot of time and energy into people who just quite simply didn’t deserve it. I watched a little video on Facebook today and it got me thinking. Time is free but it is also priceless. I have been giving it to people who used it, and me, to be honest. They knew I would be there for them and would always listen, yet when the tables turned, they were nowhere to be seen. I try not to swear so much in my blogs these days but this needs to be said:

FUCK YOU!

Wow, that felt good!!

If you think this might be about you, think about why you think it is. Are you the person I am talking about? The people actually be to be fair. If so, are you happy with how you have made me feel? That you have helped heighten those feelings of worthlessness, that you have made me shed tears, that you have actually hurt me? Do you actually even care?? Probably not. And now I can say, it says a hell of a lot about you as a person than me.

Hands up, I am not perfect. God, far far from it. When I am struggling I retreat, but then at the same time I use distraction and avoidance as methods of coping (using CBT to help try and combat this) so I am always busy. But if you need me, I will be there in a second. I wont always reach out first as I worry that you don’t need my crap and that all I will end up doing is whinge. I wont always tell you what is wrong, I will still pretend that I am good, because I can use this blog now to get my worries, thoughts and fears out. This to me means I can be a much better friend to you. I hope.

So, I am now making my first step into the next chapter of the crazy life of CC. I am reaching out through various avenues. I am studying for things that will ultimately help me support others. I am loving that I can redo my PT course and the nutrition one is very interesting! I will be a bona fide full time student as of September. But I am going to be personally stronger, emotionally stronger. I have got this far being honest, sharing my story to help others and I will continue to do so, because to me, that is the right thing to do.

Recently, a few doors have definitely closed. I know now though that they were meant to and for good reason. I cant keep focusing on what is behind me, not when I, and only me, have the power to make my future and my life mean so much more.

Until my next rant……….

Love CC xx

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