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JB's Guide To Insanity

We Are All Flawed

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happiness

The Octopus Who Tried to Stay Positive

As always BIG TRIGGER WARNING PEEPS. If you have thoughts of self-harm and suicide please read with caution.

borderline-personality-disorder

What if you can’t stay positive?

What if in times of stress you can’t see the good that is around you?

What if you feel alone even when surrounded by people?

What if those you love, who usually make you the brightest person on the planet, seem so distant that they are basically echoes?

 What if no matter how hard you try to feel something you don’t, and when you do feel it is either deep sadness, overwhelming anxiety, emptiness, loneliness, or all of those feelings combined?

What if you are scared by the above notion that some people do not have a choice in those feelings? That thoughts aren’t the key to solving these problems, because the thoughts themselves cannot be changed. It’s hard to accept never mind understand, but none the less there is no choice provided to you. You have these thoughts and feelings and they are rigid no matter what is said or done.

I’d say I’m a fighter. I’ve been here long enough and gone through enough to know that I am one who will always keep trying. “I’m still here.” has become my comfort and reassurance to people. I’ve battled severe depression and anxiety for a while now and managed to keep myself alive, even with all the suicidal thoughts constantly there for however many years it has been. It’s hard to get a grasp on when things happened in my life with all the medication and mental illness clouding my mind but I think it has been around three years now. I did a rough calculation and found that over the past three years I have been depressed/suicidal for over a thousand days.

A thousand days which is rather daunting. I believe I’m allowed to say that it’s a fucking testament to my strength that I am still here, even though admittedly it has taken its toll on me. I do sometimes feel a bit like the Wolverine of mental health, no lie though. Not to glorify it at all but you know. I’m proud of myself for being here.

wolvey
Big up my fellow nerds xoxo

 Here’s a confession. I haven’t felt joy or whatever happiness is for around a month. I mean the belief that we should all be happy all the time is bullshit anyway and happiness I do believe is more akin to a drug rather than an actual state of being. 100% happy people please do correct me if I’m wrong…

The moment of joy was this brief shining one that lasted for the entirety of one day. Before that I was up and down constantly. Mostly down and even when I was happy, the numb emptiness and suicidal thought track is always in the back of my mind during and then prominent after. That’s the difference between myself and someone without a mental illness. Stability doesn’t exist to me.

I recently got diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. It’s kind of a mental illness cocktail with depression anxiety and a whole other bunch of stuff thrown in to the mix.

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/borderline-personality-disorder-bpd/#.WQQmWIjyvIU

and I also have hyper sensitivity and Crohn’s.

FUN! Lol.

I’ve kind of realised through talking about it that I’ve probably always had the disorder in my life. I exhibit most, if not at times all, of the symptoms along with some others that aren’t in that link. Its effected my relationships, my social life in a lot of miniscule and also huge ways. I do and have done things that don’t seem to have reason to even myself and that’s not in the typical ‘twat about whilst you are young’ way either… These were things that really fucked up my life when there was no reason to fuck it up. I worry about everything I do or say or think and how others perceive me and it has gradually worn me down. I am by nature contradictory, one minute I will have one stance the next another. Fundamentally I know I try to be kind however, in terms of personal wants and needs I am very flippant. There are honestly so many symptoms and things my brain goes through all whilst trying to get through day to day life (each day feels like a week) and live as well as possible.

Can you see why it may be hard for me to communicate what is going on with me?

If you have clicked on that link for BPD then you will see the intense emotions that vary throughout the day bit. So, it’s got to the point where I don’t have that anymore really because I am just gone. It was beyond horrible when it was like that and I think my brain had to cope with it by just shutting off all emotion as it has done before. Sounds lucky I know but… I only feel bad things or emptiness now which is a barrel of laughs.

My point of this entire post though is this.

We as a society can sometimes expect those with mental health issues to fix their problems by simply thinking positively. There is a lot of pressure to always be happy, always stay level headed. I was the same before I was around it. Don’t get me wrong positivity helps. Definitely helps. But with my condition, most of the time I cannot think positively. Try to see it as me saying I can’t physically lift something. If you gave me a car and told me to lift it I wouldn’t be able to because I am a skinny little shit.

“I can’t mentally do it” should be a new saying.

Again just because someone can’t mentally do something it doesn’t mean they aren’t trying. It doesn’t mean they have given up. You have to give people credit for trying right?

shrug
Right?

 Me being positive is not self-harming, me being positive is not giving in to the suicidal thoughts, me being positive is identifying what is real and what isn’t. Are they talking about me? Are they thinking I’m a piece of shit? Did I offend that person? Do I have feelings for that person who I’ve already established I don’t have feelings for ect ect ect ect on a daily basis. A daily fucking basis haha.

You’ve got to laugh or you’ll cry for real.

Here’s the thing I don’t want you to feel sorry for me, I literally just want you to understand. I just want to be understood because a lot of the time I can’t be understood. I’m lucky enough that people around me always try to understand. I know though that there are others who aren’t in that situation. I guess this next bit is for famiies or friendship groups who have a loved one that’s struggling to deal with shit.

Please try to understand that sometimes there isn’t a choice and sometimes there isn’t really a thing that can make it better with some people. That doesn’t mean don’t try to make it better it just means maybe listen instead. You’ll never know how far just listening and hugging or smiling and saying you are there can do for someone. Tell them it will get better though they can’t see it but understand that they cannot see it. Just try not to put pressure on that person to think positive to change their mental illness.

“You’ve just got to stay positive.” Is not something that can always help. Try and judge the situation. Believe me I know how hard it is because I’ve been around people suffering from mental health issues since I was sixteen and I didn’t know how to handle it at first. If you say that to someone close to you then watch their reaction. The little sideways glance as they think ‘but I can’t mentally do that, there’s a block’. The silence because they feel pressured to not let you know that they can’t think positive, no matter how hard they try they just can’t see the other side, even though it very much exists.

Its very easy for us to feel like we are wrong or broken because of these thoughts.

You may not understand and that is fair enough because honestly, we don’t fully either. Me and a close friend of mine call ourselves octopus’ because we are unstable in every way. Physically, mentally, emotionally.

octo
Look at this fabulous mother fucker tho ❤

Like I said you have to laugh or you’ll cry. When crying takes up most of your time it’s always nice to laugh every now and then.

I just want to be understood. Most people do. I have BPD, I’m a mental Samurai Master, I’m an Octopus and I’m also human just like you.

I have found that it doesn’t take much to try.

Peace peeps, stay safe xoxo

2015 Was A Bag Of Dicks

Hellooo

I literally had the worst christmas day and week of my life. And yesterday it culminated in me being lower than i have ever been before. Ive never been so lost. For those who read my blogs youll know that each time my brain attacks me it gets stronger and stronger. That was literally the hardest ive ever had to fight in my life, and looking back on yesterday i cant believe how close i got to the edge. And you know, if it wasnt for a few select people in my life i wouldnt be here right now. I have the bestest friends in the world and i am the luckiest person to have them.

There’s a quote by aristotle that i learnt from reading Batman comics lol. It’s “what is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies”. Its true when you think about it. I dont often take on best friends that i love this deeply. Its hard for me to completely connect with people around me because i dont want to expose them to this. I have best friends but there are people in my life (as in everyones life) who i trust completely and will always open up to because i connect with them beyond friendship. I gained two more last night. I consider them blood, more like soulmates.

I dont usually end up at that point where i need saving. Its rare because i can usually fight it off on my own. So it has left me shaken and worried for what happens next time. I almost did it. Now theres a difference between almost ending it and thinking about ending it. Both are horrible. But almost ending it is where you have nothing left of you anymore. Its just the black poison in you at the wheel. It wasnt me in control so i am very worried. It was scary. The other me had its hand around my brain and wouldnt let go. Dunno what happened to get me out of it whether it was me breaking through a wall from exhaustion or just the help i had. But the thought of those friends makes me stronger. It lifts me up.

When you are from a dysfunctional home and you have physical and mental issues and not to mention those cheeky regrets, life can be very difficult at christmas time. It can be pressured on people to be happy just because its a season for people with no bullshit to be happy. I usually am happy on christmas. Usually… but not gonna lie this year has made the Grinch (at the beginning of the film) my idol.

Its been a wank year. And sticking with the Grinch analogy i still havent found my Whoville to bring me out of this slump. But ive got two families who love me. The one i was born with and the one ive chosen. Both might have their problems but both are what i have to live for. As a person with no self worth, who loathes himself entirely, its easy for me to fall in to the pit. But ive got people who build me up and keep me safe and warm and strong. Im not entirely free and, still shaking, its baby steps until ive recovered. And ill have to watch out for the other me sneaking up on me like this again, the absolute bastard… Baby steps!

I wanna thank some people for being here for me and in no particular order;

My mum, my brother Chris and my cousin Megan (birth family obviously)

And my chosen family;

Nathan
Jade
Laura
Sophie
Jorde
Josh
Rob
And introducing Kym and Cat.

I love you all to the moon and back.

All my other best friends know what they mean to me too and i love you guys more than i can say, its just the above have been the ones to save me on a regular basis cos theyve been exposed to it more unfortunately for them haha.

Point is its been horrible. Next year is probably going to be bizzarre and shit and probably more of the same nonsense. But a lot of chess pieces are moving about, and for the first time im actually kinda sorta excited. None of this new year new me bullshit, nah im gonna be the same messed up freak ive been for a while. But i feel like some things are just beginning to start and are going to grow in to hopefully better things.

You can always have hope.

We never know how a year is going to turn out until we get to the end of it. I can safely look back at this year and say  that was a bag of fucking shit and im glad to be rid of it. Cant even express how shit its been, probably the toughest year of my life. Ive self harmed, nearly ended it a dozen times.

But i have those special few to hold on to because they build me up. If anything will get me through 2016 its the same thing that got me through 2015. My family and my friends.

Stay strong and keep safe people. If youre in the same position as me, remember that reaching out for help is the best thing you can do. If you dont have a support network then find one, there is always someone and somewhere you can go that is not a grave. Theres always hope. That person telling you to die isnt you. Its a disease that you can beat and that you will beat because youre a strong lil bastard even if i dont know you. Trust famalams. Im weak as shit and if i can do this then so can you.

Have a lovely new year

Xoxo

NEMESIS

SUP STAR FACES

Quick talk about my first post before I begin with this one.

So the reaction I got was very unexpected but very positive at the same time. I got a lot of people telling me they were proud of me and that it took balls, so to all of you that read it and said those things, thank you for your support, it means the absolute fucking world to me. And if you’re reading this then thank you for coming back. I just kinda wish that it didn’t “take balls”. I wish there was a clearer way to speak out for people suffering through this. But that’s the shit thing about depression, it locks you on your own in a cage with a terribly sad and destructive, yet strangely powerful version of yourself. Well it did with me anyway. I just want to say though that it warms my heart knowing so many people care about this. It’s an issue that needs more exposure to ensure people they aren’t alone. Now back on to blog things…

Speaking of loneliness, no one likes to be on their own. Lucky for me then that I never am. As I just said, he’s always there, the other me. My shadow, the creeping monster at the back of mind. The even darker version of me (I’m half Indian and that was a race joke, please don’t sue me). Me and my friends call him Darth Maul. No, not because we love The Phantom Menace (WE DEFINITELY DON’T BY THE WAY)… But because I have a little bust of him and we figured it would be as good name a name as any. If you can identify your enemy then you can learn to understand them. Yeah he got the drop on me at first, wormed his way inside of me and turned me in to someone I’m not. I was in shock and in that shock he turned off all of the controls, left me on autopilot whilst he battered my internal defenses down. Broke the connections with what I held close to me.

But I am in control now. Feels good. Feels like freedom. But I’m not quite fully free, no… Not yet. Maybe not ever. And i still have a long road ahead of me.

Thing is, I got lucky. Luckier than other people in that position. I was so tired and battered down, so raw and exhausted. Everything was falling, swirling, turning to shit. Then out of no where the right series of events in just the right order managed to drag me out of the pit. Some of it was my own will, but a lot of it was my surroundings. Made me remember, switched me back on. Yet, it could so easily be taken away from me. If I get complacent or indulge in those thoughts that appear every day then I will fall. I’m in a pretty good place though and don’t think I will let it take me over again. It’s deep down now, locked away. But with depression there’s always the chance it may come back. I would say having any affliction, same with my Crohn’s disease is like Pokemon right? Hear me out. You play the first Pokemon and you build up a few levels. Then you meet that twat Blue (Gary, same guy, same stupid hair who we all rename dick head or something similar because we are FUCKING HILARIOUS) near the league… And you beat him and go on your way and then have a period of niceness and then every time you meet him, you have to fight him and he’s stronger. If you’ve played the game right (unless you are REALLY bad at it) then you should have become stronger too. So that’s what I have to do… Level my shit up so next time he appears I will be able to beat him.

Yup. I did just compare battling depression to the basic plot of Pokemon Yellow. You’re welcome.

So theoretically that means that I have to keep getting stronger before it rears it’s fuck ugly head again. Sounds like a plan me talking to myself, sounds like a plan! So how do I do that? How do I keep strong and positive? I mean, sometimes depression doesn’t give a shit what you have it can just appear. What I reckon is that I just have to keep building on the best parts of myself. My best friend recently asked me how I knew I was back. How I was sure that I was myself. And I told her it was because I felt it. You know… It. I hadn’t felt it in so long and it was back, that gut instinct, when you know you’re yourself you know you’re yourself. I felt emotional in a good way and still do. So I have to chase that feeling.

It’s probably pretentious and wrong comparing depression to an actual battle. Although both risk lives so I guess it isn’t. One is mental one is physical. Also probably pretentious me speaking of it as if it were an actual enemy. But again, both risk lives. So no. It isn’t. Pokemon doesn’t really do this justice does it?

Anyway! If i am resigned to living with a nemesis who is locked inside my mind then I can cope. Least this way I can keep an eye on him. Make sure he stays where he belongs. In the dark. I still get sad at what he has cost me. Every day. Still have the odd panic attack mainly due to the regrets. But I have a plan to combat them too which I will disclose to you soon. Each persons struggle is different. So all I can suggest is try and identify the struggle like I did. Try and personify it so you can beat it. Not too much personification though… I recently watched The Babadook which I thought was both meaningful and scary as shit. If you watch it you can take it how ever you like, but I took it as a metaphor for mental illness. A horrific physical manifestation of a woman’s troubles. Don’t want to be going to that much length to deal with this problem. Stay positive. Stay safe. Stay happy. Beat that motherfucker in to submission. AND TAP OUT.

LATERS BANANAS

XOXO

FRESH FACED

HELLO FREAKS AND GEEKS

Before I get down to business, we should talk, me and you. It’s going to get personal, pretty raw and probably a bit soppy. So brace yourselves.

This may upset some people. But it’s the truth. And the truth isn’t told enough these days.

Up until a month ago, I wanted to end my life. And I had wanted that since the start of this year.

A little back story is needed. For about two years I have been battling crippling depression, an anxiety disorder, Crohn’s disease, alpha thalassemia, an iron deficiency and everything that comes swinging alongside those problems. Google them if you don’t know what they are. (Here’s a spoiler- They’re all pretty fucking terrible). That doesn’t mean I have been distraught and incapacitated all of that time. It just means it has effected and still does effect me.

Let’s focus on the depression for the time being though. Because depression recently took complete control over my life and is a wide spectrum that effects who suffers from it in different ways. Those who haven’t experienced it may hear the word and just think of someone who is really sad. I know I did. I thought it was just someone who was upset more than other people. I didn’t understand it or know what it was, truth be told I couldn’t comprehend it. Then around two years ago it started creeping in to my brain. I would be sad for long periods of time and happy for others. I thought nothing of it. A lot had happened at that time and I thought it was just personal stuff getting me down. But then the periods kept getting longer, the sadness would get deeper. And at the start of this year it enveloped me.

Just a sad person isn’t an accurate depiction of what depression is. It is vastly more complicated. See, my personal depression is a monster. Now you may laugh at that… But it is. It is a demon holding on to my brain and refusing to let go. It is a creature of the most harmful and destructive nature that will try it’s best to take everything I love. Because it wants that. It wants to harm me and in turn it wants me to harm myself. Suicide is a tragic act that unfortunately so many people commit. It’s not something to judge or be ashamed of them for. They aren’t selfish or doing it to hurt you. They are doing it because in their heads, there is no other option. It’s horrible and I never knew how easy it would be to get that close. I was right on the edge, almost about to do it. I would think about it constantly, every single day, every single hour for eight months straight. I wanted it to end. I couldn’t understand a single aspect of my world and I wanted the noise to be shut off, I wanted the nightmare to be over. It seemed so easy. I could slit my wrists, take an overdose. There were moments when I knew for sure I was going to do it. Knew for sure that that day would be the day. Luckily I was brought out of it each time by a smile or gesture from a loved one. But it still remained. Constantly ripping me apart. The world would be better off I thought. Turns out it wouldn’t because I am awesome. And everyone going through depression is awesome too. In fact we are all fucking awesome and should be told more that we are. Because humans are bright little sparks of energy and love and happiness (I like to think the majority of us are anyway) and we’re simply brilliant.

My admission of depression and an eight month urge to kill myself may seem strange to those who know me… because I am extremely good at hiding it, as most people who go through it are. Truth is, it has changed my life completely. I’m a different man to who I was two years ago. And that is because now my eyes are open. Now that I am slowly becoming myself again (still fighting though, I will most likely always have to keep fighting) I am constantly alert, trying to hold it off and keep it from regaining it’s hold over me. Granted ever since turning eighteen I have been quite aware of myself and how my actions are perceived by others and how I wish to be perceived through said actions. But up until recently I haven’t really had my eyes open fully. Now everything is fresh, new, exciting. I’ve kick started my engine and have been flooded with the emotions I hadn’t felt in a long time. Eight months doesn’t sound so long but trust me, it feels like a lifetime has passed me by without me being able to stop it or even know it was happening. It’s pretty bizarre for me right now. I can imagine this is what (NERD ALERT) The Doctor feels like when he regenerates. I’m not entirely better mind you, but I now realize a lot of good things about myself and the people surrounding me. Life seems more important to me. It seems like a different world that I have woken up in these past few weeks. But we will discuss that in another post..

Last December a series of events lead me to become numb. I lost all hope, all feeling, all faith in what I loved, had and believed in. The one person in my life who I loved and adored totally without doubt became a stranger to me. A shadow fell across my mind and in an instant I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t in control. I was drifting, unable to feel, lost in myself. Trapped. Imprisoned. Unable to care and at the same time unable to think freely. It’s hard to describe the Hell I was in. I couldn’t reach out to anyone and I couldn’t break free by myself. If you imagine when you are sad or in a situation where you are uncomfortable, and you close your eyes and you take yourself to a safe place where you are free of that burden and it elevates you. I didn’t have that. Because the misery was inside my head and as soon as the real world got too much I would close my eyes and my mind would snap to the worst possible solution. END IT. It was my mind attacking itself, hurting itself, destroying itself. And now, every waking hour I must stop myself from slipping in to that place by reminding myself of what I have. Beautiful friends, family and opportunities a lot of people don’t have.

My friends have always been the best part of me. As I said… More about that later.

I have been forced to grow up very quickly over the past four years. I am twenty now, and have experienced a lot in that short amount of time. Not as much as others sure, but we are all different people and in time with this blog I will try and explain some of my adventures and misadventures that have lead me to this point in life. That have lead to me, a twenty year old wannabe writer with big dreams who has just escaped from a prison in his own mind and is trying to start his life again. This is business. I will be using this blog as a platform for my weirdness. It won’t be all about depression, it may be topical, it may be untopical (is that a word? It is now) it will be whatever the fuck I want it to be. As I said I’m a wannabe writer. I have written three books available on Amazon (As Far As My Three Eyes Can See, Oddest Void and Grondledoom) under my pen name Jonathan Todd, so I may throw a few short stories on here just for the helluvit.

Why have I called it my guide to insanity? Because life is insane. None of it really makes sense. Doesn’t mean it’s bad though. Just means that it’s complicated and should never be taken for granted. Hopefully you will see what I mean if you don’t already. Oh and If you know someone who is going through depression or may be depressed. Don’t think of them as weak. Think of them as strong. Because every day is a struggle for them and they need your help now more than ever. If you don’t know what to do then try reading this. It’s pretty accurate.

http://thoughtcatalog.com/koty-neelis/2015/04/13-things-to-remember-when-you-love-a-person-who-has-depression/

PEACE STAR FACES

XOXO

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