Archive | January, 2012

I want to be Happy

28 Jan

Dear Diary,

On Thursday I felt a fleeting moment of happiness and I loved it. Remember that Mind volunteering job I wanted? The one where I’d get to write and make a difference to those who suffer from mental distress? Well I got the job. I know I don’t get paid but it’s a start and even on the first day I realised I was going to love every moment of being there because people understand me. They’re not going to question me when I feel down or even judge me when I’m feeling so depressed I want to crawl to the nearest hiding place and never be seen again. But like I said, that was a fleeting moment.

Today I woke up to a very serious looking letter with my name on and the envelope was light brown. The colour is significant because it means the Job Centre have decided to do their best to make my life a misery again. At first I thought it was a reply to the complaint I’d made about my job advisor, but do you know what it contained? It was three sheets of paper informing me I was no longer going to receive money because I’d refused to apply for a certain job. There is a set of numbers beside the rambling letters from the typist but I don’t know what job title it’s eluding too and of course the Job Centre has to be closed today! I don’t know what to do or even how to fight the decision because they don’t care about a young woman, who has little confidence, tries her best and was actually happy on Thursday. Why would they care? I’m only one person and when I try to take them on it overwhelms me. Sometimes I think they like it that way. They like people to be overwhelmed or to just say, “I can’t be bothered with this. I’ll let them win instead.” But if I don’t stand up for my rights, what happens when somebody else who suffers from depression or some other kind of mental health condition visits my local Job Centre?

It makes me realise when my mood has slumped and I feel so utterly lost, I’m easily trampled over and the Job Centre have become masters at this. Even my Job Advisor can peck away at me and I’ll dissolve into tears. I sometimes wonder if it gives her pleasure to push until my life begins to sail away from me and my depression rears its ugly head. She will sit there and ask why I’m late, I’ll explain the buses aren’t running on time and she’ll shoot me down before I’ve even finished my explanation. “That’s a story,” She’ll say. “The buses are always running on time.” I’m left sitting there and thinking I’m telling the truth, so why am I being treated like something she’s stepped in? But when she strolls in late from lunch and I’ve been sitting there waiting for over fifteen minutes that seems to be okay.

What I really want is to be treated with respect. Just because I’m depressed and may snap or cry sometimes, it doesn’t mean I’m any different to you, or anybody else. I’m certainly not treated with any such respect at the Job Centre and I guess that will never change. When I’m there they talk to me like I’m a liar, because every time I say something I receive a look and an answer of, “Yeah, yeah”. Then there’s a roll of the eyes and the woman types furiously on her keyboard. Now I’m starting to wish I knew what she was typing on my details because she could be putting anything. Especially when I know I’m telling the truth and she’s there on the opposite side of the desk arguing with me and labelling me as a liar.

Since November my moods have been flying all over the place. I had about four to five days where I was on top of the world, swiftly followed by the most soul crushing depression and then I felt extremely hyperactive again. There’s been almost three solid months where I’ve been forgetful, not myself and I can’t even start to begin to understand what’s happening to me. Then I visit the Job Centre where I’m treated like I’m worth nothing, I’m a liar and I’m a benefit cheat. That is how I feel right at this moment. When I sit in front of my Job Advisor and I know I’ve been searching for jobs and I can’t remember where, that isn’t an act, because I truly can’t remember the dates or times or even names of the places. There was even an entire week where I felt hyper, high and depressed all at the same time and I was still trying to search for a job. If you think that was easy, I’ll tell you right now, it bloody wasn’t. I was falling apart and I was trying to cling onto some kind of semblance when part of me knew it was an impossible task because when your mind is falling apart, job searching when you truly believe you’re worthless is not going to cure the problem, but only make it much worse.

I seem to try but ultimately I always fail and I’m not ashamed to admit I’m in floods of tears right now. If there’s something I truly, truly despise it’s failing and I’m always and forever falling into that trap. I’m a failure, I can’t find a job and even when I secure the best volunteer job in the world, the happiness is torn away from me.

So thank you Peterborough Job Centre. You’ve made me feel like a benefit cheating, waste of space that pretends she looks for work while she also puts on a show and says she has a mental illness.

  • Raindrops

I’m Plagued by Thoughts

21 Jan

Dear Diary,

I’m at my most dangerous when I begin to think and I’ve been doing just that over the past couple of days. It’s strange how I can avoid listening to my thoughts and feelings because I have gotten into a habit of waking up each morning and wanting to cry. Depression has the power to strip your personality down to the bone; it knocks your confidence more roughly than a Tsunami and leaves you with little more than a shadow of your former self. Only now with the help of counselling am I beginning to piece together my thoughts and learning to stand my ground when a problem arises. It’s all too easy to curl up in my bed, tug the covers over my head and hide from the world when I feel like I’m falling apart, but I want to grow as a person and I above all else I have to succeed.

Everything I have ever touched has fallen apart whether it was my family unit, hopes of an education or my mental health. I blame myself continuously for everything that has ever happened because isn’t it my fault I’m depressed? I’ve heard so many clichéd responses to a depressed person, I’m sure I could write a book on it. But common sense usually prevails and I remind myself Depression is a treatable mental illness, I’m seeking help at long last and I don’t wish to be smothered by this black cloud for the rest of my life.

It’s far too simple to allow myself to be labelled as the “Depressed Girl” until the end of my days and if I did that, what would I achieve? And furthermore, wouldn’t I have wasted my life fluctuating between being miserable and downright drowning in my own tears?

Sometimes I can’t help but think it would be easier that way. If I remained depressed and feeling like an outsider each time I stepped out of my front door, I wouldn’t have to deal with the pain and stir up memories I don’t want to deal with. When I hit the age of eleven I was already a master at bottling up my own misery, sealing said bottle and hiding it under my bed. Before I knew it I was sleeping on a mountain of bottled tears and the tip of my nose was greeting the clouds.

Refusing to be drawn on my feelings worked for me at the time and I stuck with that very way of life until the age of seventeen when I became absolutely terrified of my own thoughts. When I look back now it’s obvious to me I became severely depressed by the time I reached eighteen. I was suicidal and wanting nothing more than to leave full stop. I self harmed, I cried myself to sleep, at times I even felt like I was losing my mind because I was in so much pain, but I’m still here now and whenever you hear the phrase “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” take heed, because it’s true.

When I’m faced with another wave of depression now, I see the oncoming signs and I know when to hunker down. I avoid getting into situations that will drag me down further, I cry when I need to shed tears because bottling things up is dangerous and I type my innermost feelings out and post them here. There are many reasons why I do the latter, but the most important aspect is this: I would never want anybody to feel as alone as I once did.

Overall and with almost eight years of depression behind me I know I’m okay right now. I’ve been better and I’ve certainly been worse, but feeling “okay” gives me a foundation to work from and with the correct tools, I will construct a life around me before the year is out.

– Raindrops

Nothing

15 Jan

Dear Diary,

It’s early on Sunday morning and I haven’t even tried to sleep yet. However hard I try I can’t seem to pinpoint the reason I’m still awake when the time is slowly wrapping rings around me and leaving its marks in the form of dark circles underneath my eyes. My mind is being weighed down by box upon box of clutter and leaves me wishing the removal men were imminent with a lorry the size of Rupert Murdoch’s bank vault. There was a single beacon in the heavy mist of my mind though and I thought if I chose to write my thoughts down, it could lead to a place where sleep happens to be hiding. Think of it a lot like an insane, slightly clumsy and utterly dreadful game of hide and seek.

Right at this moment I feel nothing and it doesn’t terrify me in the slightest, but it may worry me a little. My heart is sinking, I’m trying to run away from my responsibilities and I feel nothing. It’s so difficult to describe to those who have never felt this feeling and I’m sitting here struggling to do just that. Detached is a word that comes to mind and I believe it will serve me well. I certainly feel detached from the world and everybody in it and this fills me with a sense of relief. Detached equals little or no pain and surely it should make me happy but it never seems to have that affect.

Detached and incredibly self-conscious, the latter merging almost seamlessly inside me until I’m at a loss to see where I start and the black cloud begins. Why I should feel so self-conscious at six thirty five in the morning I do not know, but many of my insecurities stem from that. I don’t just believe my body needs bulldozing from the feet up, also my personality leaves a lot to be desired and what in hell’s name am I actually good at? Everybody has something they can do which amazes others and would set the world alight if released into the polluted atmosphere, yet I’m left with a large question mark looming overhead. I can’t draw, I’ll never create cuisine fit for a Queen and I can moan, but have yet to reach the dizzying heights of Victor Meldrew status. So I’m still left with more unanswered questions then I can shake a stick at which does little to amuse me.

Sleep? No chance.

Sometimes it feels like I’m rounding up sheep. Rowdy sheep who like to party all night and keep the neighbours awake. Sheep that even during the day refuse to eat grass and would rather cause mayhem in the nearby villages with their shifty eyes and kleptomaniac personalities. That’s how stressed I feel right at this moment, especially when I can’t sleep. If I was the farmer who owned a farm full of troublemaking sheep I would be tearing my hair out and begging for a job at Aardman Animations as a script writer. I guess that’s beside the point though and I’ll always be thankful my sense of humour is intact. I’ve found when I having nothing else left in life, a little joking and banter are what help dry the tears until I’m ready to face the world again. It’s only a shame good jokes are hard to come by.

I still have no interest or intention of sleeping. I’m sitting here lost in my thoughts and pondering how many people out there right now are unable to sleep for whatever reason. And I looked the word ‘nothing’ up in an online dictionary. The information I found was rather dull but “nothing’s” first recorded use was in sixteen thirty one. I wonder who first used the word and if they were on the slippery slope to sleep hell? They probably weren’t but it would reassuring to know I wasn’t the only one to pander to such darkness at a ridiculous time of the morning.

Sleep? I think I had better try before I lose my mind completely.

Raindrops out.