The story of ‘A’

A day out with ‘A’

As I grow older and wiser (why is there laughing in my head…) I’ve started to realise that I avoid a lot more of the situations I use to just think ‘Just do it!’ (Not a Nike promo)

Going out is alot more like a Rocky Balboa montage of prep, blood, sweat and tears, and screaming at the top of my lungs from mountains, table tops or wardrobes.

Reminiscing over the days where I freely walked out the house without a care in the world. No ‘A’ giving me what if scenarios, no sweating, hyperventilating or stomach cramps. (I miss those days!)

Roald Dahl said it best:

Easier said than done right? I’m the biggest what iffer there is!

Worst case scenarios are my comfort zone, aslong as I know the worst possible outcome I’ll be prepared….right?

What usually happens is I stress and worry over the worst, most horrendous scenario, really taking my body through a disaster of emotions, then of course the horrendous scenario never happens but at least I was totally prepared….right?

I know what you’re thinking, I’m totally wrong, I’m causing myself such stress for nothing. I know this, ‘A’ knows this, even my sister’s dogs, cats, fish knows this, yet I still do it!

It’s like an addiction to me, I can not stop. It sucks alot of the time but there have been times it’s actually helped me because once I realise the world isn’t going to end I actually feel relief and start to enjoy myself.

If you have a hitchhiker like me you’ll understand that it picks certain concerns for you to worry over. (If you haven’t read any of my other posts my hitchhiker is called ‘A’, which stands for asshole…haha opps…i mean anxiety)

For me ‘A’ makes me fear throwing up, shitting my pants or fainting in public.

Have I ever experienced any of the above in public? No. (I’ve never shit my pants period, incase you were wondering)

It means I can’t take public transport because I freak out over the above mentionables, it means that wherever I go I have to scout out the toilets, (know where every single service station is in a 250 mile radius if driving), a soft patch of land or grass to fall on if I faint or a nice concealed bush with minimal critters. (Exhausting right?)

I don’t discuss this with anyone for fear I’ll end up alone with 17 dogs, 5 cats, a parrot and a pet pig, with a rep as the creepy lady in the corner house that everyone avoids like the plague.

For all my hitchhikers bad points it has ONE good quality (I am not drunk!!), with ‘A’ comes obsession, granted it’s unhealthy obsessions controlled by fears mostly but I also have other obsessions.

Fluffy animals

The fluffier the better! Alive or stuffed (as in teddy bears)

I particulary love dogs, yes I know many people do but I LOOOOOOVEEEEE dogs, I can not refrain from hugging any dog I come across, I greet dogs before I greet humans and the love I feel for every single one sometimes causes me to cry uncontrollably (whilst I’m in the midst of hugging a dog) because it’s just too damn cute and fluffy. This can then cause the dogs human to quickly become very uncomfortable and start tugging the cute dog away, there’s normally restraint on both sides and everyone leaves feeling abused. I give zero fucks about this. My reasoning is ‘A’ made me do it.

Do I have the potential to turn into Lenny from Of mice and men? MAYBE…

I get tagged daily in posts, videos, pics and events all involving fluffy animals and I love it. Society seems to be able to accept my weird obsession with fluffy bums so I roll with it. I show them ‘A’ in the form of fluffy overloads.

Overthinking

Don’t get me wrong now, there is a side to overthinking that if I could, I would lock up in a box, attach extremely heavy weights to it and throw it out to sea never to be seen again. Those nights of lying awake watching the time tick on as you over think about the way the neighbours squirrel never buries it’s nuts in your garden. Why? Did I offend it somehow? Does it think my mud isn’t good enough? Should I re-do the garden with new mud? Maybe every squirrel hates me, what if all the squirrels in the world are in cahoots to murder me in my sleep?…and so on.

That side of overthinking is complete torture.

The other side however I think is endearing. I care a lot, I put a lot more thought into my feelings and that makes me a very loving thoughtful person. Do I border on the side of stalker at times? Yes. Does everyone enjoy it? No. Am I too much for some people? Hell yes.

If you are lucky to be in my very small circle of trust you will be in safe hands, you will have someone watching out for you and someone who gets you the most amazing presents, presents you never thought you asked for but that I picked up on. You will be loved unconditionally and I will do absolutely anything for your happiness. I will always be there to listen and support you and I will remember every single detail good and bad.

Do I ever ask for the same in return? No.

Over the years I’ve tried to suppress my unwanted hitchhiker, I’ve tried to body slam depression and blindfold grief but what I always fail to see is that my hitchhiker makes me unique in many ways and it makes me warrior. I am trying to accept it because the more I ignore it the louder and louder it screams at me.

Lately ‘A’ and it’s sidekick depression have been kicking my ass and I don’t like it. I want to be able to sit down without a pain in my ass, I want to be able accept me for who I am which includes an unwanted hitchhiker.

If the world can accept my obsession with fluffy bums surely the world can accept ‘A’ to? Right?

I’m going to try and obsess over the things I love about myself, not the things I hate. Have you ever tried that?

Wish me luck…..

All aboard the ‘A’ train

What do you do when the one person you loved unconditionally, always relied on and was always there for you leaves?

I don’t mean like…okay bye…have a nice life…ill probably get drunk and call you later kind of leaving.

I mean their soul leaves and their body stops.

• You cant get drunk and call them later
• You cant go stake out their house in the hope of a glimpse or restraining order
• You can’t accidently (on purpose) bump into them at the gym looking all awesome in your super tight pants
• You can’t text them and watch them read it and ignore you still (but at least they read it right?)
• You can’t cling on to the hope that one day it might all work out and you’ll live happily ever after with 3 dogs and a Jacuzzi in the back yard.

Instead you are faced with the crippling reality that they are gone forever.

• No more hello’s
• No more goodbye’s
• No more I love you
• No more tomorrow’s
• No more memories
• No more hugs

The only blanket around you for comfort is called the ‘what if wanker’, who rears its ugly head in moments of vulnerability. Moments that are inappropriate or at times when you are completely alone.

Those mundane moments that you’ve done every day without thought are now like your riding a really high rollercoaster up and down this what if wanker.
Just when you feel you cant hold on any longer and you cant breathe in any more air without combusting, you coast over the peak and drop vertically. Your body straining as a tornado starts to form, you hit the rocky bottom raising a massive tidal wave that crashes through your eyes and down your cheeks; Overwhelming your entire body and mind with no courtesy that your in a public place or trying to sleep.

Before you can compose yourself, you’re back on the incline of the next what if wanker…struggling to cope, desperate to breathe, fearing for your life.

Over and over and over again.

No control, Relentless, Ruthless

There’s no exit off this ride, this is your life now.

• How do you cope?

Well my first plan was to bottle it up and sell it off cheap to the nearest sucker…….until I ran out of bottles……. stupid bottles…….

What I was faced with then was 6 months worth of bottled emotion all overflowing out of me without any control.

No amount of beavers could help me.
Niagara falls had new competition.

My once strong foundations were riddled with termites and buckling under the pressure, desperate to pour out. People started returning the cheap bottles and I was surrounded by bottles and bottles of emotions.

Nowhere to turn without seeing bottled emotion
No release
Too much pressure
Lots of pain

What happens to anything that’s put under extreme pressures for a long time?

Yes, it breaks.

Safe to say I shattered into a million pieces.

So here I am in a million pieces scattered everywhere on the ground, my only option is to find small bits of me each day (before the ants runaway with my best bits) and start rebuilding myself.

Piece by piece, Step by step, Day by day.

The what if wankers will come, they will overwhelm me and they will hurt me but I must try to let go and allow the ride to pass.

Ignoring what people will think of me when I’m overwhelmed and overcome with the grief in a random place.

To the women in the supermarket who turned down aisle 3 to see a broken girl crying at a tube of toothpaste, I saw you. I saw you see me, freeze and quickly turn around and walk the other way. I don’t care that you thought I was a crazy person.

Do you know me? Do you know what I’m going through? Did you bother to take 30 seconds out if your day to ask if I was ok?

Noit’s okay I would have told you I was fine anyway.

To the leaf (yes, from a tree) that blew past me in the dark that made me jump, which resulted in an arm swing, that knocked a cyclist off his bike, thanks for snapping me out of a bad gripping memory.
To the cyclist who got angry with me when I apologised and explained a leaf scared me.

Do you know me? Do you have any idea what I’m going through to jump over a blowing leaf in the wind? Did you bother to check if I was ok?

Nobut its okay I would of said I was fine anyway.

To anyone out there riding the rollercoaster of grief, let it come and go. It’s the only advice I can give.

My theory is the more I can allow my rollercoaster to take me through this ride, the more strength I’ll gain from every turn.

Eventually building up a tolerance so that the incline doesn’t take all my breath away and the drop doesn’t shatter me quite so hard. (I’m using super powered glue to stick myself back together)

No matter what part of my ride I am on, I will always be there to ask:

Are you ok?

That’s what makes the broken so beautiful, not just on the outside but inside to. We understand.

I can’t speak for any of you but I see the world a lot differently now.

I feel the fresh air on the face, I taste the rain and I watch the nature and people around me pass by.

My perspective on life has changed.

P.s – I knew there was a reason why I never liked rollercoasters…..

The hitchhiker’s journey continues

I’ve been fairly quiet in life, not just on my blog but in all aspects. I have continued to retreat and lick my wounds whilst ‘A’ takes more victims inside of me. (‘A’ has now taken over the part of me that didn’t fear venturing outside)

‘A’s sidekick grief has been quiet, I’m not sure whether they split up to cover more ground and grief got lost. (Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining, I hope the ugly thing stays lost forever). I’m also not stupid and know that it’s probably morphed into a bigger predator and is stalking me silently, awaiting the perfect moment to spring back onto me.

I’m currently not an early bird or a night owl instead I am a permanently exhausted pigeon.

If they cut my brain open they would find it filled with jelly and blancmange.

I’ve made a pact with myself though, tomorrow is a new week and aslong as the Vikings (NFL) win (probably even if they don’t but I’ll be less enthusiastic) I will be getting up early every day and starting my yoga regime.

‘A’s bodyguard depression is kicking my arse and it’s about time I started to fight back. (At least then I can be a ripped exhausted pigeon!)

It’s so hard to motivate myself to get going when I already feel I’ve run a 7 day marathon in my mind.

  • Anyone have any tips?

I’m either a dribbling tired mess or an irritated grumpy crab at the moment. I have no tolerance for life.

For example……..

Last week my laptop decided to go at a snail’s pace when starting up (this irritated me), then Windows spent an HOUR doing updates (bloods boiling by now) to then be welcomed by the blue screen of death (patience meter explodes). I tried EVERYTHING to recover it but in the end I lost my temper and launched it out of my top floor window (yes you read that right…insert eye rolling emoji here).

I then spent ages researching a replacement to find that the one I want is sold out in the entire universe so I retreated back into my shell and gave up.

Why are small tasks that should be easy such hard work?! Urgh!

When my sister asked where my laptop was the other day I calmly told her I’d thrown it out the upstairs window (then proceeded off the subject and offered her a cup of tea as if it was an extremely normal thing to do) her face was a Kodak moment and actually made me smile (inside). That aside it also alerted me to the fact that it wasn’t a normal thing to do ‘re-enforcing my self hate. (‘A’ revels in these moments!)

Commence mantra and march on…

  • Keep fighting
  • Keep moving forward
  • I can do this
  • I will do this
  • ‘A’ WONT keep me down

(One day I’ll start to believe this…until that time I’ll keep repeating it to myself…)

P.s VIKINGS, VIKINGS, VIKINGS, VIKINGS!!!

‘A’ charges as I retreat

The past couple of weeks have been tough for me and my battle to win over my hitch hiker. (It’s being very hormonal!)

I seem to have fallen into a very deep trough of worry, pain, fear, guilt and insomnia. (Someone please throw me some rope?)

Christmas was tough but I knew it would be I was armed for it with energy reserves, grenades and weapons at the ready. 💣💥💪

What I wasn’t expecting was that going into 2018 would bring me such pain. Without any resources left to surge forward from, I feel like I am drowning in mud right now. (Think mud in an eternal bog of stench)

It’s been a very long time since I felt such exhaustion; even when my mum left me I had some fight in me to battle on.

Right now?

Right now I feel completely defeated simply from going into 2018 without my mum.

I’m just hoping something will click back into place soon and I’ll pick myself up. 🙏🤞 (Will accept being picked up…)

It’s so hard to digest because I feel like I am broken into 3 separate pieces, all clawing for my attention. (Not like a cute puppy, more like a pissed off wasp)

Piece 1questioning life, not wanting it. My own mind giving me ideas on how to end it

Piece 2 petrified that I will die too soon, petrified to leave the house for fear I catch this deadly flu going around.

I am weak, I won’t survive it, I want to survive, I need to live my life

Piece 3telling me that others have it worse than me and I’m being completely self centred.

  • How can I have such conflicting parts in me?
  • How can I hate feeling so lonely but have no desire to change it?
  • Why won’t ‘A’ let me sleep when I am exhausted?
  • Why is shit so hard? 😭
  • Why can’t I pull myself out of this?
  • Maybe I can’t do this without medication?
  • Maybe I’m not as strong as I thought I was?

Oh ‘A’ doesn’t just have her bodyguard grief, (oh no that wouldn’t be as much fun) it brings along that annoying friend who no-one likes called SELF DOUBT.

‘A’ is charging forward with it’s best soldiers and I’m just curled up in a ball bracing myself for impact. (Every now and again throwing a limb out in hope I hit something)

I had a counselling session over the phone this week and my counsellor thinks that the reality of going into this year without my mum by my side has finally hit me and I am now feeling the grief.

To be honest I was hoping I’d just skipped the majority of it. I had some terrible days in 2017 and the flashbacks have been the worst part but they were days separated by days I could handle – this is constant.

I forced myself to the supermarket on Wednesday and whilst looking at toothpaste (toothpaste!!!), I had a flashback in the middle of the aisle of brushing my mum’s teeth in the hospital and how thankful she looked at me. I literally froze in the aisle for some time, managed to keep it together walking back to my house and as I walked through my front door I simply dropped down to the floor. I couldn’t control the sobs and of course ‘A’ came out to play. (Bitch)

  • Why can’t I have the constant numbness and denial I felt when my grampy left me?
  • Why has it taken me 8 months to feel this pain?
  • If you’ve experienced a loss, how did you survive it? 😦

I’m literally waving 77 white flags at ‘A’, her bodyguard grief and sidekick self doubt. Hoping that for once they are kind on me. (I won’t hold my breath, I know how sadistic ‘A’ can be.) 🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳

I’m taking advice from memes in hope I gain some strength from them.

I’ll keep trying to survive, might just set up camp under my duvet and master human hibernation……………………wish me luck.

When ‘A’ met Grief (Part 2)

This blog post continues on from When ‘A’ met Grief (Part 1)

In the previous post I wrote about my experience of grief from losing my grampy, that it took a whooping 8 years to finally accept it.

The extract at the end of the blog was:

I had two years after that of some normality and at the end of 2015 I had convinced myself that the asshole hitch hiker was a result of not accepting or acknowledging the loss of my grampy and against the doctors wishes I came off my bipolar medication.

Against the doctors wishes meant that if I came off my medication I gave up the help, the support of the mental health team and I was on my own. My mentality at the time was screw them and screw the asshole hitch hiker. I felt it was safe to be able feel again.

Queue the return of ‘A’….drumroll please…

‘A’ came back, pissed I’d disrupted its vacation time but I could manage it. I started Yoga and meditation to become more mindful and it helped. The meditation side was a lot harder to master because my mind was always racing but I did 10 minutes everyday and persevered. Eventually I was finding I could sit for 20 minutes with a peaceful mind allowing my thoughts to come and go.

After 9 months of Yoga and meditation I felt a lot stronger in my mind and body, I was starting to feel in control. I even travelled to California by myself which was the biggest achievement to date. I was smashing ‘A’s ass hard!!

Jan 2017 saw me starting a new job, one I was excited about, one that would kick-start my long-awaited career.

I was finally in a good place.

March 30th 2017 was when it all came down with an almighty bang.

Every day before and after work I would visit my mum; I’d do anything she required, make her breakfast, sort her medication out, make her dinner, monitor her drinking and make sure she washed.

My mum was in her 10th year of battling alcohol addiction, it was at the stage now where she didn’t even enjoy drinking but had to because without the alcohol her body hurt, her mind tormented her and the withdrawals were too intense. She had been to rehab 5 times; 3 times forced by me and 2 times at her own will but the demons in her mind would always win because withdrawals were tough on her. She was awaiting her 6th rehab visit but there was a waiting list; I felt like this would be the last time, that she was ready to conquer it, she seemed different and more determined.

On March 30th I went round as usual in the morning but my mum didn’t look very well, extremely pale, very confused, and was in pain so I rang an ambulance and we were taken into hospital with sirens on. (I remember feeling excitement at this moment, what an adventure we could laugh about at a later date)

She was diagnosed with a water infection and started treatment alongside a detox due to her withdrawals.

‘A’ brought out the attacks with force, it felt like if i let go and succumbed to the pressure that an almighty attack was there waiting. I was always tinkering on the edge of an ‘A’ attack, it was waiting in the wings for an opening to present itself.

Of course the many years of masking this hitch hiker I was an expert in hiding it. I was the only one that could ever make my mum laugh; we seemed to get each other and were very similar. I stayed by her side every single day and hid the pain my hitch hiker was causing from my mum. We even had a few giggles and I saw my mum smile.

In reality though I was struggling.

I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t relax

Every new day the only goal I had been to get through it, win that daily battle and not worry about the next until I was faced with it.

Over the course of 5 days she started to get better, back to herself again. I went home on the fifth night for a shower (my mum forced me, said I needed it!), it was the first time I had left my mum’s side in 5 whole days. (I remember walking back to my car with a smile on my face: everything was going to be fine)

However,

On day 6 I woke to see my mum had started having breathing difficulties, this escalated extremely quickly and by day 7 my mum was diagnosed with pneumonia.

My mum was allergic to Penicillin and because she wasn’t well enough to answer for herself so I had to decide between:

  • Trying an alternative medicine to fight the pneumonia which my mum wasn’t allergic to but may not act fast enough
  • Give my mum Penicillin which would fight the pneumonia but could potential cause my mum further harm and ill-health

My mum was severly allergic to Penicillin which meant she could potentially go into anaphylactic shock so it was a no brainer for me to try the other medicine.

The alternative medicine wasn’t acting fast enough and the doctors were talking about intensive care; putting my mum to sleep for a while so her lungs could repair but my mum begged me not to let the doctors take her there because she wouldn’t wake up from it.

At this point my other sisters were in the hospital visiting which was helpful because every 5 minutes I had to leave the room to control ‘A’, at one point I even had to have oxygen because the attack had started to aggravate my asthma. I remember feeling annoyed because i would leave to get ‘A’ under control and my mum would ask one of my sisters where I was.

I hate myself for feeling agitated that she needed me.

This also started a feud between myself and my oldest sister, she barely saw my mum, infact, at that point in time the last time she had seen my mum was Boxing day 2016. (26th December)

I stayed by her side that night, the nurses wouldn’t dare to kick me out to the relative room. This made ‘A’ taunt me; did they already know she was going to die?

‘A’ was constantly pumping adrenaline into my system with the mini relentless attacks so I was wired anyway and unlikely to sleep. My heart was constantly racing and the amount I perspired wasn’t human. (Even my butt cheeks sweat, whose butt cheeks sweat?) It was crazy.

My mum fought so hard to breathe, I prayed so hard that night. My mum was trying with all her might to keep breathing. I was so proud of her.

She would fight this.

The next morning my mum went into respiratory failure and was taken to the intensive care unit. This time it wasn’t a choice, it was life or death.

The next 5 days I sat by her bed all day and night while a machine breathed for her. I talked to her, told her about Oscar (her beloved dog), I told her jokes, sang to her, played her music and held her hand. Sometimes her eyes would twitch and I knew she could hear me.

The doctors would continuously ask me about my mum’s health prior to this infection, they couldn’t understand why she wasn’t getting better. (I didn’t tell them about the 10 year battle with alcohol or the constant ill-health she suffered because I wanted them to keep trying, afraid if they knew that they would give up)

April 14th, 2017 (Does the date ring a bell to you? Apart from it being Good Friday, it was the same date 10 years ago that my grampy died. SAME DATE!)

The doctor sat me and my younger sister down and told us that there was no more they could do for my mum, her kidneys and liver had now failed. We had to turn the machines off.

I didn’t get to say goodbye, I didn’t get to say I love you I more time.

Now if I had been alone at this news I would have dealt with it better but my younger sister was hysterical crying, which allowed ‘A’ to creep through and I had one of the worst attacks id ever had. So bad infact that I thought I was going to die myself and I ran, before I realised it I was running down the stairs, through the hospital and into the fresh air before collapsing onto a patch of grass and violently throwing up my insides.

At around 5pm on 14th April I watched my mum take her final breaths surrounded by her daughters and brother and then I lay my head on her chest for the next 5 hours until they took her to the mortuary. I went over and over what had happened, feeling like I had failed her, feeling like I could have done more.

Why didn’t’ I just take her to the doctors for the water infection? She wouldn’t have caught pneumonia from the hospital then.

Its my fault she had died like this.

I don’t remember to this day when everyone left, I don’t really remember the 5 hours by her bedside just when the nurse interrupted me to say they had to take my mum away. I then walked home at 1030pm from the hospital; even though I had driven.

My mum died 14th April 2017 around 5pm – the exact same time and date as my grampy.

To this day that blows my mind.

So here I am in the cycle of grief again. This time its different.

The next couple of weeks I was possessed with something, I had this strength from somewhere. I organised the funeral, I organised all my mum’s affairs and I made sure everyone was ok. On the day of the funeral I stood up and read a poem I had written about my mum, I never cried.

After the funeral my dad (who I wasn’t particularly close with) came up to me and hugged me, for what seemed like a lifetime. He told me how proud he was of me, that to him I was the weakest daughter mentally and physically but somehow I had become the strongest and was holding everyone together. He thanked me for writing such a beautiful poem about mum and keeping everyone strong.

Everyone was thanking me, I didn’t understand it. I wasn’t doing it for them, I was doing it for my mum. I didn’t want any thanks.

Two days after the funeral I was sacked from my job, I hadn’t been back yet and they felt I wouldn’t be back for some time and felt it best to let me go. (Thanks a bunch!)

I had lost my mum, my routine and now my job.

So since then I have literally been surviving, day by day, with ‘A’. The doctors constantly trying to put me back on medication but I refuse. ‘A’ is crippling me but I want to beat it.

What better way that in a place of complete defeat? I couldn’t break any further.

Eventually the strength disappeared and I pleaded for the numbness like with my grampy but I didn’t get it. What I did get though instead was crippling flashbacks when I least expected them, moments replayed in my dreams over and over again, night sweats, night ‘A’ attacks and completely uncontrollable emotional outbursts.

By day I felt physically sick, exhausted, random outbursts of extreme emotion and constantly fearing I was going to die from something. The tiniest thing could make me either want to kill someone or cry uncontrollably.

By night my heart would race, I would sweat everywhere, id had flashbacks and horrible dreams and I would sob my heart out until I was sick.

Everyday through the sickness, the headaches and the extreme exhaustion I would force myself out of bed and do some Yoga and then walk to my youngest sisters house to see her.

The days I’d think I had a handle on it finally then like a wave in the sea it would all coming crashing into me again, harder than before. It would suck the life and strength out of me.

I’d pretty much given up, ‘A’ had convinced me I was going to die soon anyway so there was no point in trying. I was ready.

Then just like before with ‘A’ when I was younger, something clicked in me and I found some inner strength. I got a new job.

The job has been hard, everyday is an uphill battle to even get to work, then I have to tolerate people who irritate me, have to pretend I am normal (and without my hitch hiker) and try to act as if I care. I don’t care, I am constantly tinkering on the edge with ‘A’.

Christmas hit me hard, my younger sister went away for it and I was left here alone. I put a brave face on through video chats but I felt dead inside. I rang in sick for the first week back in work and I cant bare to go back, almost at the mindset of quitting. ‘A’ is winning the battle, day by day and this job has worn me further down than when I was unemployed.

I don’t want to go through another 8 years of my life not committing to anything again, feeling detached and isolated but I don’t feel strong at the moment, I feel like I’ve gone backwards. The flash backs are back, the lack of sleep and the emotional outbursts.

I guess it would appear I missed out on skipping the different stages with my grampy that this time I’m being taken through every stage several times a day. (Except numbness and denial which seem like the jackpot right now!)

Loss, hurt, emotional outbursts, anger, fear, fear, fear, fear, emotional outbursts, hurt, disorganisation, guilt, guilt, fear, guilt, guilt, fear, emotional outbursts, hurt, loneliness, isolation, isolation, isolation, loneliness, guilt, fear, fear, fear, anger, guilt, loss, emotional outbursts, depression.

My grampy use to always say “When nothing goes right…go left”

  • Maybe I should go left?

Quit everything from 2017 and start a new life in 2018.

Me and ‘A’

Change is good right? (or should that be left?)A’ doesn’t think so….

When ‘A’ met Grief (Part 1)

I have had quite a few face offs in my life already between grief and my hitch hiker ‘A’.

I know that its a right of passage as you get older that people will pass away and leave you.

Grief is associated with losing something or someone where a bond or affection has been formed.

You can grieve for many different reasons and because of this you can not define grief in one way.

I’ve felt grief when every single one of my hamsters, rabbits and guinea pigs died (there were alot!)

I’ve felt grief at the end of a relationship. I always struggle with the concept of relationships. You give yourself to someone, you are in eachother’s lives everyday, you share affection (and bodily fluids) and you trust them then one day – GONE (there haven’t been alot of these!)

The first time ‘A’ met the loss of a parent it buggered off on a long vacation and the asshole hitch hiker was sent in ‘A’s place. (The Affair )

The second time ‘A’ met the loss of a parent it brought reinforcements and went kamikaze on my ass and the only option I had was to surrender. (Current situation)

The doctors have recommended I have bereavement counselling, that there was a 3 month waiting list however I have been on the list since April 2017 and the last time I chased it up I was number 23 in the queue so I should get seen around April 2018. (I find this absolutely unacceptable)

My grampy died of lung cancer when I was 20 years old; up until that point in my life the only people I could depend on were my grampy and my mum so this was a hard time for me. (My previous blog post The Affair touches on this)

My grampy got diagnosed in the November but we quickly found out it was very aggressive and chemotherapy wouldn’t help, it was simply about quality of life now. Looking back I never asked or was told how long my grampy had left, he would say he would fight it and not to worry and I would believe him.

My grampy had never let me down in the past.

I trusted him 100%.

Sadly by the following April he had got a lot worse and everyone was saying there goodbyes. (I wont share what our goodbye was because its a personal, precious memory between myself and my grampy)

On April 14th at around 5pm my grampy passed away surrounded by all his children and me. He wasn’t dead for more than 10 minutes before the witches were stripping him of his jewellery. (A gold necklace that I had handmade a ‘D’ on, a gold wedding ring and a gold ring with the initial ‘D’ on it)

Stage 1 – Shock & Denial

I feel like I set up camp in this phase for 6 years. My asshole hitchhiker joined me and ‘A’ went off on vacation. I felt numb and detached and that was my personality for over 6 years. I felt a lot of fear about how I would cope or survive without my grampy’s hugs and strength. I felt weak. There was definitely no normal functioning in this stage.

Stage 2 – Anger

Zero time in this stage. ‘A’ had disappeared completely and I never felt an ounce of anger.

Stage 3 – Depression & Detachment

This is another stage I camped out in, my neighbour was stage 1 and I literally moved from stage 1 to stage 3 to stage 1 back to stage 3 over and over and over for at least 6 years. I was numb, tired and lacked any sort of enjoyment or happiness throughout that time. I was medicated and treated for Anorexia and Bipolar at the same time I was flitting between these two stages.

Stage 4 – Dialogue & Bargaining

I never met this stage until 6 years later.

I never reached out to others, I never told my story (anyone new I met over the 6 years I would talk about my grampy as if he was still alive) until I met a guy at the end of the 6 year battle and for some reason I told him about my grampy. That was the first year in 6 years I visited my grampys grave, I spent the 14th April visiting my grampy’s favourite places with this guy telling him about the memories and every year thereafter we did that.

Stage 5 – Acceptance

I owe a whole lot to my boyfriend throughout that time because if it wasn’t for him I would probably still be in denial about my grampy’s death. After another 2 years something lifted in me and I felt I accepted that my grampy was gone finally.

8 WHOLE YEARS?!?!(WTF!!!!)

Throughout that time I was never treated for bereavement because I had a whole different mess of disasters stirring inside of me. The anorexia, the body dysmorphia and the bipolar. The asshole hitch hiker really did a number on me.

I had two years after that of some normality and at the end of 2015 I had convinced myself that the asshole hitch hiker was a result of not accepting or acknowledging the loss of my grampy and against the doctors wishes I came off my bipolar medication.

Against the doctors wishes meant that if I came off my medication I gave up the help, the support of the mental health team and I was on my own. My mentality at the time was screw them and screw the asshole hitch hiker. I felt it was safe to be able feel again.

Queue the return of ‘A’…drumroll please…

The Affair

I find it so easy to talk about ‘A’, but this hitch hiker I am ashamed of and writing this has caused me a lot of torment. I wrote this post the day after The ‘A’ Train and I’ve stared at it for days, deliberating whether to publish it or not. (I guess it’s no surprise if you’re now reading this)

I wanted to try though, I needed to try.

This hitch hiker was a particularly tormented dark soul; I was way too busy blocking ‘A’ returning that this one knocked me for six! This hitch hiker is the one that left the judgement in people’s eyes, the one that made me feel worthless and ashamed and the one the majority of my family see when they look at me. It’s the hitch hiker I am mostly defined by, the one I couldn’t hide like ‘A’ and for that reason it’s the hitch hiker I hate the most.

This hitch hiker isn’t worthy of a name. (Unless you count asshole as a valid one?)

We all go through journeys, it’s a part of life, nobody should be frozen in time because of their past, nobody should be held accountable for the rest of their lives for their actions (unless you committed murder or something). For me it has always felt that when I am around certain family members I go back in time and get put back on trial. I go back to feeling worthless and ashamed and leave having teleported back to that time in my mind when a dark hitch hiker tormented my soul.

My family have chosen to never talk about it, just silently judge me for the rest of my life. I’ve never really opened up to any family about it and I don’t know whether it’s just a ‘me’ thing or whether there are others out there that feel the same? I spent many years punishing myself over this hitch hiker, holding onto a deep dirty dark secret of disgust.

  • Am I the only one who seems to morph back into a dark time around certain people or family?
  • Family time is supposed to be a happy time, isn’t it?
  • Am I only person out there that practically dies inside when there’s a family gathering?

All those feelings of being the runt of the litter, the diseased and broken child, simmer to the surface and I can no longer function in anyway other than how everyone judges and sees me from my past, reiterating what they already think they know of me.

That’s what this hitch hiker loves to do.

Torment, shatter, destroy

I can’t really remember how the affair began; it sort of crept up on me without my knowing, took control and embedded itself within me. It bought me rose tinted glasses to wear and literally went by unnoticed for a very long time.

I guess looking back now I can probably pin point when it began and the possible reasons why.

I can probably justify my actions.

  • That’s what our hitch hikers love to do to us isn’t it?

Look back at the ‘what if’s’, over and over and over again.

At some point in my parents relationship something broke and when I was 18, after being together for over 30 years, they divorced. They sold the family home and went their separate ways. I had no family home and was temporarily living with my nanny and grampy until either parent could claim me.

My nanny and grampy had four children, my dad, my uncle and two witches gifted from Satan himself. The younger witch was a particularly jealous type, I don’t think she was ever fussed on my existence from the off and quite often threatened to hurt me. Weirdly, I never worried about that, I literally ignored her yet I would cry hysterically in the middle of the night because I couldn’t pin point (in my mind) where my school tie was for the morning! (Cheers for that one ‘A’!)

Anyway losing concentration again…where were we…PIPE DOWN ‘A’….

This chapter of my life could be a whole book and I’m not ready to write a novel about this time, so I’m going to summarise the next 6 years of my life and then come back to it in bits throughout my blog when I feel ready. (I am about to have an ‘A’ attack writing this, I can’t stop shivering which is normally my first sign of attack)

Disaster 1 – Parents split taking away the stability of a family home

I believe this is where my new hitch hiker came on board, I needed stability I was petrified without it. This new hitch hiker came in the form of a dark grey cloud of depression, unlike ‘A’, where I feared and felt everything, this was different; I felt numb, detached and didn’t notice this hitch hiker for some time. I welcomed the numbness after years of anxious symptoms. (What a fool I was!)

(I need to stop here and get some camomile tea, I use to laugh at people who recommended this tea but it really does calm me when I’m a shaky cold mess at the onset of ‘A’.)

……I’m back, where were we? Oh yes the disasters…..

Disaster 2 – Moved in with grandparents until parents were both settled and the decision on who goes where can be decided.

This doesn’t sound like a disaster I know but I was back in my childhood second home, back experiencing my nanny’s good and bad days. The bad days didn’t help with my asshole of a hitch hiker, I found I had less tolerance for these days, I always ran away to my boyfriends to ignore them. (I still hate myself to this day for doing this)

Disaster 3 – My grampy gets diagnosed with lung cancer

One of the most important figures for me growing up was now potentially going to leave me, I couldn’t grasp the concept of being without my grampy, and I needed his strength to keep my mind well. I wouldn’t survive without him. I stayed in denial throughout my grampy’s illness, he was the strongest man I knew, of course he would win this battle. I had nothing to fear, I was numb.

Disaster 4 – My boyfriend and I hit our first hurdle and broke up

He betrayed me, cheated on me. I caught him having sex outside a nightclub with his ex. I did try to stay with him because he was familiar and still wanted me and I honestly thought that nobody else would want me. After 6 years of on and off, I finally felt ready and let him go. My first taste of heart break seemed to stretch out for 6 years. It didn’t seem to come in tears and pain, I stayed detached. Eventually I felt nothing for anyone. I was incapable of feeling anything at all.

The ice queen was born.

Disaster 5 – The Satan spawned witches kick me out of my grandparents when my gramp got a lot sicker

This one caused a crack in my frozen heart, my grampy was moved into hospital permanently and I couldn’t tolerate my nanny’s bad days anymore so they had no use for me living there. The ice queen was very much activated permanently now and because I hated myself for not being there for my nanny when she needed me the most, I didn’t care what happened to me. I needed punishing and I had no value left to my life. I was without my grampy and my mother hadn’t claimed me yet.

Unwanted, irrelevant, Frozen.

Luckily at the same time my mum had moved into a two bed flat so I had somewhere to go. What I didn’t realise is that my mum had taken the divorce extremely badly and had turned to alcohol to mask the pain. (This was a separate battle to my hitch hikers that I spent 10 years trying to fix. I didn’t care about myself all I ever wanted to do was fix other people, people who were more important than me.)

Disaster 6 – Death claimed the wrong life

After spending a month visiting my grampy everyday in hospital, pleading with the universe to trade my life for my grampy’s he sadly lost the fight and passed away. The witches ransack the house with my nanny still in it for valuables. (It was literally like an episode of fun house)

I broke.

I become anorexic.

I couldn’t depend on anyone, I withdrew from everyone. I was watching my mum become an alcoholic and I couldn’t go through another loss. I couldn’t lose the two most important people to me. So I starved myself.

**If you are recovering from an eating disorder I advise you not to read on and pick up from the next set of ** in bold, further down**

It started off feeling great; I had moments of feeling pleasure from my body’s cry for hunger. INFACT, if I’m honest, at the time, I loved it. I had control, I had the power and I would eat when I wanted to.

It all depended on whether I was having a good or bad day.

Good day – The hunger almost turned me on, I felt awesome, I felt like I was the prettiest, most powerful girl on the planet. I could do what I wanted, I could have who I wanted, and I could be anyone I wanted. I didn’t care that I was hurting the people around me. The ice queen was the most powerful being on earth. She controlled her body and her mind. (Or so the hitch hiker wanted me to think, the difference with this hitch hiker was at the time I had no idea it existed, whereas I always knew when ‘A’ was in control)

Bad day – I hated myself, I couldn’t put a single calorie into my body because if I did it felt like fatty maggots moving through me, and it felt out of control. I cried a lot, I cried to my mum a lot, I apologised for letting her down a lot, for letting everyone down a lot. I apologised for hurting everyone. I felt the most over whelming guilt id ever felt, the fear I felt because of that guilt was crippling. I was often sick to my stomach because of it.

At the age of 23 I was sectioned under the mental health act because of my anorexia. I went into hospital weighing just under 5st. It’s weird to look back because at my lowest weigh I couldn’t see it. I would look in the mirror and see a whale version of my reflection back at me, a version of myself riddled with fatty maggots.

I never saw my true self.

** anyone skipping can pick up from here**

I came out of hospital 3 months later with all the promises in the world I would continue with therapy and although I never dropped back down to my lowest weight I hadn’t conquered the anorexia. I was also diagnosed with Body Dysmorphia Disorder and started to educate myself on the topic so I could understand it.

I continued to tell lies to hide my anorexia and relapsed several times over the years. I carried on having good and bad days and I could never steady myself mentally. I was either up or down, no in-between.

Everyone would say ‘it’s because you never eat ‘, ‘just eat and you’ll be fine’, ‘you make me sick that you think you’re so fat, you’re a bone’. I never saw bones though, I really wanted to see and feel bones but I didn’t. I never could. I also did eat healthy (when in recovery) so I knew that my ups and downs couldn’t just be because of my anorexia; sure it didn’t help but I never felt like it was the cause.

I simply carried on, on my rollercoaster with my masked hitch hiker at large.

I was put on 60mg of medication (I don’t want to name any medications in case someone reading is taking it, it may work for others) to help my anorexia and depression, apparently this was the go to treatment that would help. I can’t be completely negative it did help the depression; it just didn’t help the manic episodes or my Body Dysmorphia which was fuelling my anorexia.

I started to feel like I had a new hitch hiker and I tried to tell the doctors this.

I was told:

I’m just an anorexic dealing with grief in a bad way.

It took a particularly bad manic episode which resulted in me going missing for 4 days, causing extreme worry to my family and ending up with me being hospitalised again.

I was treated for Bipolar Disorder, my medication was changed.

After another 3 months in hospital my mind stabilised on the new medication, the Body Dysmorphia faded and I maintained a healthier weight thereafter. I was never cured of anorexia or the Body Dysmorphia but without the rollercoaster moods I was able to manage it a lot better. Some times it took a lot of work and sometimes I relapsed but I never dropped below the underweight line on the BMI matrix. (Instead I hung around of the border teasing the border control weight police because I could)

My true hitch hiker was revealed to the world.

This hitch hiker- the Bipolar Disorder / the Body Dysmorphia, the lies, the pain caused, and my thin frame, is what my family sees when they looked at me (except for my younger sister and my mother).

The medication I was on made me go through the next 6 years, numb and detached.

I spent the years jumping from job to job, not committing to anything or anyone long term, lying to people that I had achieved more than I actually had, trying to achieve things I lied about achieving but always failing, always giving up. I isolated myself, I never made friends, and I lived in a safe bubble of serenity where nobody judged me. (My teddy bears had seen it all but they continued to stare at me with their loving beady, glass eyes and soft fluffy paws).

Always thinking that without the medication I wouldn’t be in control, that every hitch hiker would come back to haunt me. I was damaged goods and I would lose everything if I didn’t let the medication maintain firmly in the driving seat.

Numb was probably for the best….right?