No longer as truthful as should be deserved, some names, places and events deliberately vague to protect identities that aren't mine

Monday, 25 August 2014

Imitation is the highest form of flattery

I'm in New York again.

I'd forgotten what an onslaught New York is.
It's a big city in the way only Americans could do a big city.  It's loud, and it's grimy, and the drains don't quite take the smell of sewage away.  There's dirt everywhere and the heat from the subway rises up through great grills in the street and washes over the panting pedestrians.  Oil and bitumen assails you from roadworks and construction projections.  The traffic is constant and everywhere and they all honk their horns and no one moves.  People stand around, hordes of them, outside buildings and on corners and places that don't seem important.  Seven here, twenty there, a dozen waiting on the next street.  They don't move.
It's oppressive.  God it's intimidating and terrifying and so beautiful.

The buildings rise up and up, they tower over the chaos of the streets and hem everything in, keeping it tight, pressing it closer together.  It narrows your view and focuses and channels even the daylight in a way architects and designers dream of.  
Rocketing, rattling tin can Metro cars with their 70s era shades of desperately happy and comfortable orange, so perfectly like their city; grimy and noisy and fast.  Chrome reflecting off everywhere, dazzling, like the city.

The constant traffic blocks up roads alongside sidewalks that are wider than the entire Strand.  The overbearing towering blocks are gleaming and golden and gilt in beautiful, indulgent art deco styles.  It screams decadence and tragedy and desire and something that refuses to die and you don't want it to..  Golden and Silver Age Hollywood.  Rapture.

The women, my god I never get over the women here.  Runway fashions.  The kind even supermodels only wear for that one catwalk because you can't actually buy them, and no one would ever wear them, you cant even walk in them.  Celebrities on the red carpet don't have them.  New York women are wearing them all.  The Carries and the Samathas and Mirandas and Charlottes who hate that that's how everyone only ever thinks about them anymore but love that everywhere does a Cobb Salad and lets you talk about sex openly nowadays (and why shouldn't they?!).  Dear god the women here are stunning and powerful and determined.

New York scares me.  I can't even imagine what it must be like if it's your first big city.  Your first proper city.  But god its beautiful and stunning and intoxicating and addictive and just try to stop yourself from whirling around it.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Worst Thing

Do you realise how hard it is not to punch and throw every single thing you own, even though your hands are already bruised from repeatedly hitting your car earlier, because your roommate is sleeping, and the worst thing you could have to deal with right now is someone to actually ask you what's wrong?

You are the part of me I wish I didn't need.

Bear with me, this is likely to happen a lot over the next few days and weeks....

Augustana - Either Way I'll Break Your Heart Someday

Charlie Puth - Clarity (cover)

Boxcar Racer - There Is

Anberlin - A Day Late

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The Other Guy

The selfish part of me needs for you to stay
'Cause boy you keep a smile stretched across my face
And I would give anything now
But you would lose everything now
The way your lips move when you say my name
The smell of your hair on my pillow case
And I would give anything now
But you would lose everything now

If I'd had it my way I'd never let you walk out the door
But my heart is heavy with something that I just can't ignore

Boy, I'm sitting here wondering what it is that we've done
Baby who am I to be that other guy?
'Cause I've seen tables turned, a world of hurt
I'd never wanna feel twice,
I know what it's like from the other side
So baby who am I to be that other guy?

This could be our home boy, a special place
Something much more than your great escape
Boy I would give anything now
If you didn't had everything now
It doesn't have to be that you feel the same
You're telling me your love for me would never change
Unless you change everything now
It doesn't mean anything now

If it's him that you've chosen, then we need to stop closing the door
'Cause while he's at home waiting, then we can't pretend there's something more

Boy, I'm sitting here wondering what it is that we've done
Baby who am I to be that other guy?
'Cause I've seen tables turned, a world of hurt
I'd never wanna feel twice,
I know what it's like from the other side

Ooh oh, I know it's not an easy choice to make
Ooh, 'cause no matter what you do
A heart will break
Boy, I'm sitting here wondering what it is that we've done
Baby who am I to be that other guy?
'Cause I've seen tables turned, a world of hurt
I'd never wanna feel twice,
I know what it's like from the other side
So baby you decide who is that other guy?
'Cause baby, who am I to be that other guy?

Jesse McCartney - The Other Guy (with some gender edits)

Wednesday, 6 August 2014


Some of the more hilarious extracts from the diary I was asked to keep by the psych for the last two weeks:

"Lots of new people to meet today - stuck with my head constantly analyzing every thought and action wondering if it was correct.  Should I stay and talk?  They're not here to see me.  It'd be rude to leave.  I really want to go but now I have to talk to them.  I don't know anything about this person.  This is not a good time for me to he trying to make an impression on people.  I never know what to say here.  Oh sex, this is good, this I can do, sex is easy, I'm good at sex.  Oh god they're going to want to sleep or talk after aren't they.  I'm rubbish at both.  I'll just lie here till they're asleep and then go to the bathroom and then back to playing my game."

"Everyone is dumb.  Everyone annoys me.  God why can't they all just fuck off and die, can't they see how much I hate them all ... I smashed 2 glasses.  Threw them at the wall.  Had to clear it up of course.  Don't want to warn them."

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Other Worlds

Whilst on blogs about dealing with mental health issues, I fully recommend my friends blog: Nervous Type

Honestly, until he started this I had no idea how good his writing style was.  He describes the experience of hypomania far better than I ever could, and the syncopated nature to his writing manages to perfectly express both the overbearing, never-ending, demanding, increasingly fast runaway nature of depression, but also the distracted, blissful, wondrous ,amazed, boundlessly energetic nature of mania.

The jury in my head

I haven't really know what to do with this blog for ages.

Occasionally I have ideas, but I'm not near a PC to blog them, and by the time I am the idea is gone.  The way my thoughts come out is far more random than my presentation of them suggests - a lot of reordering, and editing happens before I post that you don't see, and this means my writing doesn't lend itself to a pen and notepad format.  Even for those ideas I do tend to get onto a screen, for most of them I get half way through before realizing that what I've written says nothing like what I want to communicate, I'm in no way happy with it or even willing to accept it as a good effort - again, behind the scenes of this blog is an endless set of draft posts that remain in an unfinished limbo that no matter how many times I return to I can never quite get what I want to say out.

So the blog lies here dead and quiet until something pivotal enough happens I'm compelled to commit something to binary form just to alleviate some of the pressure in my head.

Well tonight is one of those times....

Tonight I'm intentionally staying awake, because the thoughts in my head are so bad that sleeping would only grant them full-colour, stereoscopic natures.
I had a 4hr long nightmare in a series of dreams this afternoon.  It wasn't a nightmare in the sense of horror-movie elements of terror and suspense.  It was a relatively 'normal' cinematic rendering of the thoughts plaguing my head.  The worst thoughts I have, leaving with me the feeling of being trapped, of failing, of not having control, with no escape and being right back where I used to be.  Frustrated and unable to make anyone understand how I'm dying inside.  This was a nightmare in that it was a representation of my worst fears and experiences, that leaves you with those terrible sensations and feelings all day after waking, you can't shake them; the memories you'd suppressed and left behind, the scenarios you've imagined and suddenly had to live and experience in your dream.  And the fact I couldn't wake myself up on it just serves to prove how much I'm struggling with mental control right now.

Right now I'm stone cold terrified of the concept of 12pm.
12pm is the the best culmination of years of trying to find something that can help the runaway trains of thought tearing through my head 24/7.  A journey arguably started 6 years ago, and has been in it's most recent iteration for 18 months and counting now.  I'm trying.  REALLY trying to get some help.  Because it's so bad it scares me.

It's hard to explain how much of trial just 1 appointment is in itself because it seems so trivial.  There are barely a handful of people who actually understand how severely I have problems pursuing mental healthcare, by virtue of being the ones who have been around long enough, and close enough to me, to see the effects it has on me - the immediate suspicion of their questions, the manipulative line of my responses to test the psychiatrist's intelligence against mine, the violent shaking, sometimes retching, in the waiting room and making it worse by trying to suppress and control it so I can look 'normal' (which is clearly absurd given the entire reason why I'm there, but hell I don't want to actually appear like an uncontrolled raving loon to them do I?!), the hyperventilating on the bus to get to the doctors, the nausea and panic I feel for 3 days solid before my appointment, the bad dreams and insomnia I have for weeks before it, the anger at myself for each and every one of these sensations, that they exist, that they are so ridiculous and counter productive, that they are so necessary and obvious.

And at 12pm I have an appointment with the man who gets to decide whether I'm eligible for drugs to try and help this or now.  Whether my symptoms are bad enough.  After falling through the system or being refused without actually being told such 3 times recently.
It's not that I want to be on drugs.  God, who WANTS to need anti-depressants, or anti-psychotics, or anxiety meds, or any of those options?!  For years my healthcare providers and I both agreed that drugs were not the answer for me - the way my mind works and copes with my mood swings means things like anti-depressants and mood stabilizers are pretty much the worst possible option for me.
The reason I'm now asking to consider them, the reason I've pursued treatment repeatedly this time despite numerous setbacks and constantly falling through the gaps of the system, is my current coping mechanisms don't work anymore.
I get memory blanks, I have visual hallucinations that interfere with my ability to do things, I get inexplicably and uncontrollably angry - a kind of unprompted anger I haven't had since I was 17.  I find myself so overloaded that the simplest additional stimuli - like a friend on a phone in the same room, makes it impossible for me to focus on the world around me.
These are all problems that developed since my current coping mechanisms stopped being effective in helping me to manage the various bits of crazy I experience.
And the fact of that scares me so badly I'm willing to say: "okay, I need help, I don't know what to do, I can't deal with this, when you're struggling this much with this kind of stuff you're supposed to go seek help so here I am, won't someone please help me do something about this, so slowly, bit by bit, I can maybe get back to a place where I can manage myself?"

But at 12pm, the answer may be no.  I'm not saying drugs should be the answer.  But I've never found counselling style therapy to be that useful, or CBT, because I tend to be quite aware of my own behaviors and how to recognize their incipient state and how to develop and instigate coping mechanisms to help alleviate them where necessary and by and large, I've already done that  And they're not working.  I've been told repeatedly I'm not eligible for them anyway.  So at this point drugs to forcibly restore some kind of barriers in my mind seems like the option that's left.

And if I get told no, I'll understand.  Because they have to draw the line somewhere, because I'll have gone through that process of assessment and the people qualified to make such a judgement will have done their jobs and appraised me accordingly.

But then, I'm habitually bad at emphasizing the severity of my medical situations.  Digestive pain to me that I just accept and deal with because its a daily occurrence would probably have someone not used to it in tears and considering A&E.  These mental symptoms have been there in increasingly worse states for approaching 2 years now.  So even with the failing coping mechanisms, I've just got used to them.
And objectively, I go to work, I eat, I maintain social relationships, I didn't come to them through the A&E psych team, I haven't been sectioned, and they have to prioritize, so I understand.

Subjectively I'm just a good liar, who puts up a great front because most of my life involves appearing in complete control of any situation.  Without a serious alternative, its saying "you're falling apart inside, you're hallucinating, you are probably going to get progressively worse or it might blow over in another few years, but we wont or can't help you.  You are in fact, on your own, you have to deal with this without professional help."  And that raises a further problem beyond the immediate repercussions in that it's likely to create an association in my mind of "okay, when you need help you ask for it, and you expect it to be given one way or another, but it wont, so there's no point in asking, no matter what happens in future."

I really wish I wasn't good at putting up a front.  Because its one of those horrible situations where because I'm trying, and objectively having partial success, it in fact works against me.  Did you ever wish you weren't the A-student, because then you wouldn't have to get A's all the time?  If I could lose that constant holding back of the worst of it, if I attacked someone, or myself, or if I just ran off till someone came looking, or climbed into a dark comforting crawlspace and refused to come out, then they'd say "you're sick, you need help, come with us."

...But for the next 8 hours, I just have to hope that my sleep logs, the mood diaries, writing down all the voices in my head is enough to justify not having to be on my own

N.B. By 'on my own' I am not ignoring my support network of friends etc.  I know you are there.  You are part of the coping mechanisms that no longer fully function because things are worse than you can help me these days.  By 'on my own' I mean without professional help.  I mean stuck with the strategies and coping mechanisms I devise that certainly involve you, but are no longer sufficient.