Nobody to talk to.

My reason for having nobody to talk to is due to alcohol, and I will explain why.

My suicide attempts have always been through a session of drinking. I have experienced suicidal thoughts in sober times also, but the physical aspect of suicidal thoughts comes when I drink. Sometimes I think that alcohol brings out the best in me, and that’s very difficult to explain to people. The first time I spoke of historical abuse was through drink. I would only ever speak about it through drink, and although some would say that this isn’t such a great thing, for me, in hindsight, it was a good thing for me.

I am able to discuss issues in my life that I wouldn’t be able to sober. For the most part of my life I have been accused of being a liar, because I will only open myself to people after drinking.

I sit here wanting to be able to discuss on this blog a million things, but having spoken so much about them, I feel it is not important anymore. I have many issues, with my past, that I have buried, and not due to my own wish, but for the sake of others. There is only so much you can tell people, and there’s only so long they will listen.

The importance for me of this blog, is that I am no longer heard. I am considered a “recovering self harmer” “recovering alcoholic” and “recovering drug addict”. As much as I am all of those things, I sometimes have the need to talk, like now.

And on these occasions when I need to talk, there is nobody to listen.

There is something in life I fully agree with, and that is that once an addict, always am addict. I am aware of who I am, my addictions and my reasons for them. However, the crippling feeling of being completely mentally isolated I would consider the world of all my issues.

I have drank alot tonight, on a family holiday and I am sat alone with my thoughts. I left the “party” early, through drink, under my own discretion, because I am aware of my actions when I drink. I drank to the limit I know I can, and came home on my own accord. To many this is not understanding. For me this is massive.

I am unable to tell anyone of these willing choices I made, whilst drunk, because nobody will listen. I have told myself in a drunken state, to take myself home, drink water and eat some food. It is probably the first time I’ve experienced this. I was aware of myself and my limits of drinking. But I can’t tell anyone. Because for other people this behaviour is normal and not something to be praised for. For myself, it’s a massive achievement, which will never ever receive credit.

Nobody of my family will ever stop the “Zoey is an alcoholic” jokes. Or when I have a glass of wine the reaction becomes “should you be drinking that?” I can never escape my past because nobody allows me too. I have major, unbelievable anxiety even looking at a glass of wine. Wondering who is watching, who is judging, who will be the first to make a remark. And there is always one.

The depression experienced through drink 6-8 years ago is a million miles from the reasons now. My constant paranoia of people’s opinions and attitude’s towards me drinking causes a rapid mental downwards spiral for me when I drink. I can completely without question, understand people’s fear of me drinking, especially my father, who endured years of mental pain and suffering due to my actions through drink. However. I have drank many times and had no issues, and it has never been praised or recognised. The only recognition I recieve, is when I do something wrong. And this is pretty true to life in general, because people don’t always see the good, because it’s expected, but people ALWAYS notice the negative things, and always enjoy to gossip about it.

I completely understand myself, and I understand that I am someone who needs constant reasurrance, and in times when I do good in my life (excluding my father) nobody recognises it, and it deeply hurts.

I have come a long way from the person I was 5-7 years ago, and although a very small amount of people (my father and partner) recognise these changes, nobody else seems to care. The lack of understanding and appreciation for changes, gives me the exact feeling of “well, why do I fucking bother?”. I need and crave approval constantly, it is so important to me.

I don’t have much else to say. I don’t feel much more is important, and I don’t feel it’ll be heard either way. So there’s not much point in me wasting my time.

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Is it always the best thing to help people with mental health? Or can it be damaging.

A few years ago, I worked for a call center company. I didn’t actually work there, I was there for training, to then get a job there, although I never made it that far, my issues with self harm eventually got so bad I quit the training at the very end so I didn’t have to get up and leave my house everyday anymore..

Anyway. This post isn’t about the job, it’s about someone I met there at that time. For obvious reasons, I will rename him and we shall call him James.

When I first met James, he was an incredibly lovely person. Pretty quiet, down to earth, nothing out of the ordinary kind of young man. Although in my time at that job, I didn’t make an extremely deep connection with him. I saw him everyday at work, and we would have the odd conversation.. at work parties we would drink together, on a few occasions ending up heading to town and continuing the party with a couple other people. At this time in my life, I was in the middle of my “bad times”. Partying, alcohol, self harming, weekly hospital trips.. you know the story.. and because of the sheer amount of issues I had at this time, i never made any real long-term connections with anyone. I couldn’t see people for who they were, I didn’t have interest in making friends or learning about other people.. my interest was in getting as drunk as possible, with whoever at the time was the most fun.

So at this time I didn’t really “see” James. I didn’t look or pry any deeper into any conversations with him. At the time, obviously I didn’t realise that I was doing this, I recognize now, that I was. I remember his laugh, and his humour. I was drawn to him in some ways, because he was great to be around, an outstanding aura of positivity.

As I said, I eventually left that job, and because our friendship was based around work, after leaving we didn’t keep in contact.

Fast forward to 2 months ago. It wasn’t a usual Saturday night. I had been seperated from my partner for a good 6 months, and I was in a great place. I had done alot of soul searching after my relationship breakdown. I found things I enjoyed, I went outside more often, my anxiety was almost completely gone, no dark days, no depression. I was happy with life and was on a great journey becoming who I wanted to be without any influence from anyone else. I hadn’t drank for a long time, i started meditation, and was mentally extremely positive. So this Saturday night, when a good friend I hadn’t seen in a few months asked me to go on a night out. Now just to make the story understandable, almost everyone who has gone out drinking with me has regretted it. My mood, behaviour and over all attitude can change within a split second, weather it be crying and upset or aggressive and argumentative. These behaviours in drink don’t happen as much anymore after the therapy I received a few years back, however, sometimes these situations do still happen, not as often, but can leave others feeling very vunerable as to how to handle me and the situation. So to be asked on a night out, by a friend who I am aware is aware of “drunk me”, I was extremely pleased.

I made a mental note to myself to BEHAVE, and to try to enjoy the evening without any issues. The night was brilliant, we drank, we danced all night long till our feet hurt. We got some food and went home. I woke up the next morning, a little hungover, but feeling extremely happy at how well the night had gone. My friend even messaged me to ask me to come out again the weekend after! This for me, is a massive thing. I struggle not only with alcohol at times, but more so, I struggle with how people perceive me and alcohol. I am hyper aware, of what people think of me and my relationship with alcohol. So of course I agreed, and the week flew by, and before I knew it, it was Saturday again.

I got myself ready, I went to my friend’s house, we had a drink, put music on, the night started great. We headed into town and went to the usual places, and I was over the moon how successful the night was going, and even MORE over the moon, when I walked out of one of the bars we were in to go for a smoke, and saw James. I instantly ran over to him and gave him a massive hug, he in turn, was equally as excited to see me. It was a tremendously amazing few hours, until without me realising, the night unravelled very slowly.

It was around 3am and we decided to go back to my house, considering all the club’s were now shutting, but we were still in party mode, and in a great mood after bumping into each other. So, we went to my house, we put music on, we poured more drinks, and we sat, and talked. For hours. I told him about my life since leaving the job we were together at, and in turn he told me his life story. Harrowing, and horrendous details, of being abandoned by a drug addict mother and an brilliant relationship with a great father. The details, and stories he told me about his life, and furthermore about his mental state, the anxiety, the racing thoughts, the deepest depression. I was shocked, completely speechless at how connected we were, through our issues with mental health. We spoke in mass details of out struggles, and equally found it extremely comforting to have someone understand. Although by this time, it was sometime in the afternoon on Sunday morning. We had drank for over 14 hours, and the alcohol induced depression started to kick in. The stories and the horrors I had heard, started to affect me and my own mental state.

I asked James to leave at that point, as I was beginning to sober up and suddenly felt an extreme chill throughout my body, and desperate feeling to be alone. That day was the first time I self harmed in a very long time. I was hit by a massive uncontrollable need to relieve some of the emotions I was feeling. I had, and still have massive regrets for this. It was not nessecarily bad cuts, and someone reading who’s never witnessed or been around self harm, may say to themselves “how is any cut classes as bad or good”. But there are different ways and techniques, with different tools, and these cuts, were not bad ones. Although the cuts themselves on a place on my leg which are not visible to anyone else, it is the mental anguish of actually physically harming yourself that has on you.

After that day, I felt most of all, that I did not want James to feel that my mistake was his fault. Although at this point, and because of certain events and other things that occurred that night, I was sure I didn’t want to see him again, because I felt at that time that his influence on me was negative, I also felt sorry for him, after receiving messages from him that he was upset because I had asked him to leave and he didn’t understand why.

So following a couple days of conversation, I realised many things. Firstly that James is extremely jealous. After being abandoned by his mother he had the worst case of abandonment issues I’d ever witnessed. Extremely in need of reassurance, constantly, and rock bottom self esteem, his mental health was in a shockingly low place. I had many conversations with him, I encouraged him to meditate, and to stop drinking. I thought at this point I could be of some help to him, having been in his places many years ago, I assumed I had some knowledge of how to help him. I am pretty sure now, that I was wrong.

I agreed to see him again. We went on a Friday night, out for some food. I took him to my favourite restaurant, and within an hour, he had ordered so many cocktails, that the pair of us, were pretty drunk. It hadn’t been my intentions to drink so much that night, it was planned to be a nice evening meal, but it turned into so much worse. I am the first to admit I am easily lead, especially when it comes to situations with alcohol. We proceeded to go to a bar near to my house, where he got progressively more drunk, and the jealousy started to come out. Extreme jealousy of me looking or speaking to any males. Now for starters, we weren’t in any form of relationship or had any form of sexual activity happening! In my drunken state I fully rejected his jealous behaviour and considered it completely unfair. The situation got more out of hand after bumping into an old school friend and chatting for some time, James was extremely unhappy out this and proceeded to leave the venue. By this point, both of us, very intoxicated, and after a conversation an hour earlier, about extremely depressing topics, of topics I do not ever discuss when I’m drunk, I at this point, was again in a very low place.

I got in a taxi and went home. From this point I don’t remember much. James came to the house and we had a slight disagreement before, again, I asked him to leave. By this point in the night, I was so mentally distraught, that I again, self harmed. This time, bad cuts, and also visible, on my arm. I had the paramedics out twice that evening, the first time they left I proceeded to self harm again and they returned. They then stayed with me until my father arrived to rescue me. Alongside the catastrophic evening, I had also accidentally stopped taking my antidepressants for 5 days, and the subsequent reaction, was a rapid uncontrollable downward spiral as soon as I started drinking alcohol.

This event harmed me deeply. It harmed me physically, and mentally in so many ways. I had to cover my arms for a couple weeks, and it made me feel like I was 19 again, and the depression that came with that was unbearable. I felt that I had failed myself and my family, for self harming after such a long time. What I had never told anyone, and still never have, was who I was with when these two events happened only 6 days apart.

I don’t point blame in these situations. For me, it’s always best to not point blame and to just try to resolve the issues that caused it. I returned to my medication and after 2 weeks I was back mentally where I had been before the incidents. As much as my heart and mind wanted to badly to help James, after he told me his racing thoughts and bad anxiety played a massive part in his behaviours, drunk and sober, I knew I understood him, and I also knew that no one else would.

Which gave me a predicament. To help, or not to help? What is the right thing to do in these situations. Most people say that mental health can help mental health, that we can help each other..

My friend told me, after I told her about these events, that in life there are negative and positives, and sometimes they come in the form of people. To help yourself, and continue your personal journey, you must remove the negatives.

James was a massive negative to my mental state. His great great need for massive consumption of alcohol was the first reason, and the second was his own depression, which inadvertently, brought out my own depression which I had dug a grave for and buried a very long time ago.

So the question. Does mental health always help mental health? Or sometimes, is it that your negative mental issues can be brought out by someone else, unintentionally.. should we avoid those people like the plague.. or should we always try to help everyone who wants or needs us to help them? I’m curious for any comments about this.

My motivation. My journey to self-help and a better life. (Trigger warning – selfharm issues discussed)

I start this post by saying even though I have a beautiful, funny little boy for a son, who is my all day every day motivation, before having him my motivation and support came from someone else.

That someone was and still is my father. An extremely hard-working, caring and supportive parent. He is by far the most extraordinary person in my eyes. A business owner, and jack-of-all trades, an absolute inspiration. There is nothing he can’t fix, and for me that means around the house and mentally. I can and have always been able to ring my father at any time of day or night, without being afraid or causing myself grief. (Definitely sometimes causing him grief!)

I had a very difficult time through my teens. Through issues from my childhood, to finding alcohol, drugs and bad, negative people who I called friends. I was especially troubled, mentally, and found great difficulty in understanding myself or managing symptoms of depression. Towards my later teens, early adulthood, alcohol and drugs became addictive, as did the bad people that came with it. Physical and mental abusive relationships, with partners and friends alike, I was completely trapped in a tight downward spiral. Alongside an increasing need to drink, I acquired an addiction to self harm. It became something that still to this day, is something that is troubling in my life. I always felt a release after self harming, and it became a weekly issue for me at one point in my life. Constantly in the hospital for self harm wounds or in the poison unit for overdoses. I had no life, I had no job. Lack of any strong family relationships, a horrifically bad connection with my mother, I found life very one sided, very dark and above all, I considered life pointless.

I was not surrounded by supportive great people. Mental health was not as widely spoken about as it is now, even 5-6 years on. I caused my own loneliness in some ways, I would keep bad company, and reject any forms of real friendship. I was self-destructive and I couldn’t find a way to change it.

Until one particular new year’s eve, when I cut myself the worst I had ever, in a desperate bid to end my completely miserable existence, I passed out on my sister’s kitchen floor as she was asleep, to wake up a few hours later surrounded in a pool of blood. And it terrified me. It utterly terrified me. It was after this incident, another hospital trip, resulting in having both of my fore arms stitched back closed, excruciating pain, I turned to my father.

He made it his every goal to help me to help myself, and from there we visited multiple doctors, therapists, sessions and appointments. We went through a long process of finding help I desperately needed. I knew at the time, and still know now, how harrowing this experience would’ve been for him. To want nothing more than for me to get better, whilst still trying to run his businesses and deal with his own life’s stresses. But no matter how many dead ends we came to through these months of searching for councilling, he never once gave up. He attended every single appointment.

When we finally found the councilling we were looking for, with the right doctor who specialised in self harm, depression and alcohol dependency, he sat through every session with me. He had to listen and endure all the thoughts I had been experiencing, he also opened up a few times to the therapist himself, I think overall, even though the sessions were solely to help me, I think in some ways they helped him too.

After weeks of medication for alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and grueling, personal therapy sessions, I was finally seeing some light in my life. I moved from the city I once lived, I removed all the negative people and situations from my life. I started again, completely alone, without a single friend, in a new city with a job. All I had at that time was my dad, and my therapist, and it was all I had needed to get through it.

Now, the grass isnt always greener. And even though life very gradually improved, I did still at times have issues with alcohol, and self harm and I still do. I will never be “cured”, however, I learnt ways to manage these addictions, and the more control I have over them, my life continues to grow and become better. But the issues became less, and further apart, and in time, me and my partner had our beautiful baby boy, who forever changed my life for the better.

Everyone needs a hero, a support systems and someone they can turn to when times are too difficult to get through alone. For me, that was and will always be my father. I owe him alot for the time he has spent helping me, and even though some may say that is a parents duty, he always went above and beyond the norm. The motivation in my life comes from seeing him happy for me, and doing what I can to help him whenever I can in whatever way.

I’ll always be eternally grateful that I have such an amazing person in my life, I wouldn’t be here today without it, and I appreciate it every single day.

We can’t change who we are, but we can make changes. When we make the changes to ourselves and our surroundings, we find that life dramatically improves. There’s no real cure to mental health. I take sertraline which completely halts my anxiety. Not everyone experiences such good results, but for me, it makes life manageable. It also gives me the ability to leave the house and have a life, and even small things like being able to go out in public to a park with my son I’m very grateful for, for the medication enables me to do that.

I am on a great journey, the journey has been long so far, but it always get better. I always find new ways to solve old problems, and the more I learn the more I can manage my mental health. When I started therapy 5 years ago they asked me from 1 to 10 my quality of life, I told them -1. If I was asked that question today, I would say a solid 8. No life is perfect and there’s always room for improvement, but from where I was to where I am now, is a unbelievably massive difference. I am grateful for the support I’ve had.

Thought for todays vlog.

If someone is willing to help you, grasp it with both hands, let them lead you and inspire you. We choose our own paths, but it’s always nice to walk alongside someone.

Finding inspiration in unusual subjects, reflecting on mental health and others around me

I have sat for a few minutes trying decide a title for this post. I have many ideas, many reasons for a post, but too many to make much sense of. So I guess I will write the post, and decide the correct title after some more mad ramblings.

I am intrigued by many aspects of life and the world around us. I have great interest in how the mind works and learning more about specific interests I have. I can go through stages of interests, for example, I was extremely into the mental health disorder schizophrenia for a few months. I watched numberous YouTube channels, read alot of articles and saw many documentarys about the disorder. I find it fascinating how schizophrenia is still a very misunderstood and interesting subject. People who suffer non-stop on a daily basis with such symptoms as hallucinations and inner voices. I wonder how those people cope. They cannot switch it off, or change it, it is who they are. Amazing, strong people is what I think of them. To live under such termoil and stress on a daily basis, and still have the will to continue going to bed and waking up everyday knowing it’ll be that way forever. Amazing.

The only problem with being so intrigued in this disorder for a long time, it began to affect my own thoughts. I started to wonder if because I was reading so much about it, if it would trigger me to start experiencing the same symptoms. I had some difficulty with these thoughts in particular, I started to become worried I would wake up and start hearing voices and have no control of it. It took a good week, and subsiding my interest into reading about it, for my mind to stop convincing itself I was going to become a schizophrenic. I found this a great shame, it was something I had enjoyed doing for a long time, and felt more knowledgeable of mental health disorders for knowing more about this subject.

But as usual, the little seed and blossoming tree had to ruin that one!

Something I also find very interesting, and perhaps surprising, is space. I remember when I was in primary school, and we were having a lesson on space and the planets and what surrounds us, and one of my peers became extremely upset, fearful, at the thought of space. I found her reaction confusing. I could not understand why she feared the thought of space so much.. considering I enjoyed the subject so much. Looking back on that situation as an adult, obviously everyone fears and enjoys different things. It doesn’t make us strange or weird, it makes us individuals.

I can watch YouTube videos on black holes, planets and multiple universe theories for hours. Not only do I enjoy and find it extremely interesting, it also gives me great calm. If I am particularly stressed one day, I know that night times become a sanctuary for racing thoughts to appear. So I can sometimes settle this by watching videos about space. My mind gets to absorbed into the subject, that I do not think of much else. I find this a great way to unwind.

I am not a particularly clever or well educated person, and the people I would categorise into being the type to enjoy space and science, does not fit my personality description, not even close. This is something I understand as accepting everyone for their interests, and as the old saying goes, never judge a book by it’s cover. Although I consider myself unable to seriously persue any type of course or education in science and space, I still have alot of interest in the subject. My personality doesn’t allow me to sit for hours listening and learning. Mentally, I learn what I want to learn, what draws me in and interests me. I can teach myself to do many new things, however I find it difficult to be taught in a classroom setting as I am easily distracted and lose focus when listening to subjects that don’t interest me. This part of my personality is a shame. I always enjoy learning, and it always seems the only availability to learn more and in depth is in a classroom setting.

Life is just a constant, never ending lesson. To learn, adapt and grow. I am enjoying growing as a person. When I look back on life, there are many things I would rewrite, or erase. However changing these events wouldn’t make me who I am today, and even though I suffer with mental health issues, and I am still adapting to them, I also continue to grow as a person, and find myself and my reasons for living. I am not the same person I was 5 years ago, not even one year ago.. not even 6 months ago.. we constantly change and become better. I am still learning about myself and I probably will keep learning till the day I die.. but I believe every single person on earth is the same, nobody knows exactly who they are, they are always trying to change or grow in some way. It took me a long time to realise that. And it gives me great comfort when dealing with issues some days, that we are not, and are never alone.

I have no idea how this post started, I let my mind write as it wanted. I am aware there may not be real structure to these posts. It is just a running commentary of thoughts.

Thought for the blog:

Be kind to everyone, you never know who is suffering, physically or mentally. But no matter how big or small, the feeling of hurt and struggle is the same for everyone. My issues are no smaller or bigger than yours, in regards to how it feels to experience it. The issue may be different, but we all feel pain.

When your mind doesn’t stop running.

Well, it’s 00.34am right now. And I have the usual case of irrational, racing, ridiculous thoughts. Sometimes it can only take 15 minutes for my mind to completely convince me of something that is extraordinarily false.. however, at night time it becomes much worse. Alongside the negative thoughts, comes the deep uneasy feeling of anxiety. And so I lay here in my bed tonight, and ask myself the question, what set it off?

I have not had a bad anxiety night for many weeks. I tend to over think and over complicated things in my head on a day to day basis, with some so-so level of control. It’s something I’ve learnt to live with, considering its something I dont remember not having. However the anxiety is only a few years old, and I only recognised it as anxiety within the last year. Having become more in control of the triggers of my anxiety, it is rather surprising to experience an anxiety attack tonight.

It sets off by such a simple chain of events over the course of around 10-15 minutes. Watching some videos on YouTube I came across a video of a Chinese man doing a jigsaw puzzle, accompanied by his 5 cats, (Adorable cats!) and the thought popped into my mind that I should buy myself a jigsaw puzzle. Then proceeding to go online and search for a couple of minutes for adult jigsaw puzzles, extra small thoughts started arising..

.. I don’t actually know weather I have a hobby?

The question poised in my mind for a few seconds before rapidly firing out alot more uneasy questions. Why do I not have a hobby? Do I not enjoy anything? Am I depressed? Do I want a hobby? Which quickly lead to many Google searches of adult hobbies, how to get a hobby and where to start.

It can sometimes be difficult to explain the process of rapid irrational thoughts, but I think the best way is to describe it as planting a small seed in fresh soil, giving it a little water, and then it starts to grow.. but it is not growing at a usual rate, it is growing at the speed of light! (That’s how it feels, mentally)

So my seed was planted, and off it grew, into a monumental issue, that was so ridiculous and irrational, as I tried to instantly find a solution to stop it, searching and searching through pages of hobbies, reading various ideas and websites, I finally came to the conclusion of a blog.

I read in one of the websites, that when looking for a hobby, start with the basics. What did you enjoy doing as a child that made you happy when you were doing it. And for me, it was writing. From a young age I always enjoyed literature.. reading and writing was always what I was best at. As I grew older my passion for writing subsided, as life got in the way of that passion I suppose.

Now back to the seed, which has grown into an enormous flowering tree..

I then found myself asking more questions.. “But what will I write?” I still haven’t exactly found the answer to it. I doubt anyone will ever read this, and if anyone does find this blog, it’ll probably be the least interesting read they may find! I guess it is more of a personal blog, perhaps it could be a cure for the occasional manic thoughts. We live in hope.

So my mind has now settled. I have managed to write my first blog. Although mostly rambling, I have done myself well by expressing my thoughts some how, and honestly, it feels great. It is extremely empowering when you find any small answer to a problem, when suffering with any form of mental health. As a person, I am extremely sensitive emotionally. I can be easily upset, offended or disheartened by people’s words. For this reason I tend to keep my thoughts to myself, and although it works the majority of the time, there are times when we need to express ourselves, whichever way it may be, verbally, artistically, literally..

I realise this blog started as something and has ended as something else, my mind likes to “continue” as I like to call it, instead of “hanging around” when I write. I like to freely write my thoughts as they come into my mind, perhaps from fear of forgetting important points, or more likely too immersed in what I’m writing to remember what I last wrote. (Sound about right!)

Well, whatever this blog turns out to be, at least I can sleep tonight. My brain has now slowed down, the anxiety has diminished.

Thought for the blog:

Maybe someone will read my blogs and it will help them in some small way.. this is my motivation