Again

I wrote a poem, haven’t written anything in ages. I want to get back into writing. Here goes…!

*trigger warning: it’s about an abusive relationship*

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I said the wrong thing

I’m stupid, I’m sorry

Shouting

Flying through the air in slow motion

Using my hands as brakes on the concrete

Crying

My new coat is broken

A lady enquiries what happened

“I’m fine” said with a smile

“Just clumsy, I tripped”

She leaves convinced enough

Pathetic. I’m pathetic

Dry the tears

Wash the grit out of my bleeding hands

Plaster a smile on my face

Brush down my clothes

Go home, don’t mention it

Worrying the coat will give me away

Mum sees, mum asks

“I’m so clumsy” I say again

Go upstairs, shut the door to my room

A sigh of relief

They’re all convinced, again.

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A night feeling “normal”

I went out at the weekend. I drank cocktails and shots. I danced and sang (*ahem* shouted) and got home at 3:30 in the morning. The club was packed and I knew I should feel anxious, but I didn’t (thank you alcohol).

It was weird because that night (until the very end when I got a bit upset and overwhelmed once the alcohol started wearing off), I felt like a “normal” person. For so long I have avoided situations like that, or have tried but have been overcome by anxiety or fatigue. It was nice to be able to do something that most people probably don’t think twice about, but I usually do.

It’s now Wednesday and admittedly I am probably still feeling the effects (because it takes days for my energy levels to recover from things like this. Things I used to take for granted) but it was worth it. It was a good night and I won’t even let the end of it ruin that memory.

On another happy note, I mentioned that I was planning on writing a happy memory about each day to put in a jar, and I am proud to say that’s still going strong. Month one, done, in the jar. I also bought a pretty jar to use (although now that I’ve got it home and put 31 pieces of paper in, I’m pretty sure 365 won’t fit but oh well!)

Jar of memories

Love,

Ellie xx

I don’t want to be rescued

I have spoken to my counsellor a lot about how both the ex and S* rescued me in a way. Before the ex, I was going through a low patch and I wanted to be rescued, enter the ex. After the ex, I was in a much worse place, enter S, ready to rescue me and me wanting to be rescued.

But this time I don’t want to be rescued. When S and I first split up, I wanted nothing more than him to rescue me. When I felt suicidal, I wanted to tell him and for him to make me feel better, to rescue me again. But actually, that is not what I need anymore.

I want to rescue myself. What a revelation!

I don’t need a knight on a white horse or any of that bullshit. I need to learn to look after myself, not become reliant on anyone else. I’m not saying I don’t need friends and family because I do, but I don’t need someone to rescue me. I don’t need to be a victim forever. I am not passive in my life, I should have the main role in my own life.

So this is me, on a mission to rescue myself. And do you know what? I’m going to be ok.

Love,

Ellie xx

* now this is confusing as both are exes but let’s be very clear – my relationship with “the ex” was toxic and horrible, my relationship with s was happy and safe… It makes me sad to draw parallels between the ex and S, as the relationships were so so different, and yet I am realising there are definite similarities in some ways which I had never noticed before.

100 days of mindfulness!

I reached 100 days of mindfulness in a row. I’m really proud of that, especially given how hard the last couple of months have been. It has become part of my daily routine – every morning my alarm goes off, and then I open the app on my phone and put on a short meditation. My favourite morning one is ‘welcoming the day’ on the app I use – Stop, Breathe & Think.

I would like to increase the time I do my mindfulness each day, but 5 minutes every day is a good start! I know that mindfulness is a really good tool in managing anxiety, so ideally I would use the skills when I am in a moment of panic! One of my favourite meditations (called ‘relax, ground and clear’) talks about being on top of a mountain and I really love that imagery, it puts me in a more relaxed state and it’s easier to tackle the day.

Another time that I find the app really useful is if I am struggling to get to sleep. When you are lying in bed trying to sleep and all of those niggling thoughts pop into your mind – did I send that email at work? I must remember to buy more milk. Etc. Or worse, the negative thoughts set in – “I’m useless”, “no one will ever love me” and so on… To clear my mind, I can put one of the mindfulness meditations on (often ‘falling asleep’ or ‘sound bed’) and then my mind focuses on my breath and I am much more relaxed so sleep comes more easily.

I know I’ve written a few posts about mindfulness and this app in particular, but I am a massive fan and I feel it could help others too! Plus, the logo is a really cute cloud with a face!

Love,

Ellie xx

Safety net

Scared of being alone,

Missing the way you smile

And how you touched my hair

Wanting to be in your arms,

To be in my safe place with you.

Safety has gone now, I miss him. (I just re-read that sentence, when I wrote ‘him’, I meant S, but saying I miss safety and that S was safety to me is just as true.) I am doing ok most of the time but sometimes I get an overwhelming wave of sadness. Today it was while I drove home from work, tears streamed down my face. No trigger, just the feeling of loneliness, emptiness. I know that it is for the best, I would never have ‘grown up’ and taken responsibility for my own wellbeing if he didn’t leave me.

I am trying to take control of my life now; I made a bucket list for 2018, I have started my CBT for fatigue (will write a post on that soon), I am focusing on the amazing friends and family I do have and even reconnecting with some old friends. I am really trying my best but it’s hard because I am terrified that I will always be on my own.

I miss S and our stupid in-jokes and the stupid names we called each other. I miss lying in bed cuddling while we watched a film and feeling safer than I have ever felt. I can’t imagine getting that feeling again.

I am 24 and I know that is young and there’s time to meet someone, I know it doesn’t mean I will be on my own for the rest of my life, but I didn’t plan for this – I couldn’t have planned for this. My plans and expectations for the next few years down the drain – hopes of moving out and buying a property *flush*, hopes of marriage and children *flush* hopes of safety and love *flush*

Seeing other people with long term relationships is hard, I have hit the age where people are starting to move in together/buy a place together or get engaged/married. It just reminds me what I’ve lost and makes me panic that it’s going to be too late for me. I know it’s silly but that’s how my brain goes.

He was my safety net in so many ways, and now he’s not there, free-fall is a terrifying prospect. But what if I don’t fall? What if I can fly instead?

Love,

Ellie xx

Memory jar

One of my clients told me about this idea and I thought it was really cute so I used it myself…

Every day you write one happy/positive memory or thing from that day on a piece of paper, fold it up and put it in a jar. Then on New Year’s Eve you will have 365 happy memories* to read to bring you into a positive new year.

I thought that was lovely so I’m trying it myself. As you can see, it’s (day 1) 1st January so there’s one piece of paper so far, and I hope many more happy memories to come! I kind of wanted a prettier jar so I may change it part way through, but for now it will do! 😊

Love,

Ellie xx

*you could start this at any point in the year but I think it will be cool to do a full year and have 365!

Strength from somewhere

The Christmas period has been hard(er than usual) this year for me, but I’m starting to feel a bit stronger.

New Year’s Eve is always difficult for me because of something that happened 7 years ago. I have worked through it so it’s not as bad any more but most years I have avoided doing anything because I used to get flashbacks and panic attacks about the thing that happened. I want a new start this year so will be spending NYE with some friends, nothing big, we are going to get food, play games and make cocktails.

Although I still feel pretty low, I have found a bit of hope. From somewhere, I have found some strength to carry on. I miss S unbelievably every day but I now feel like eventually I will be ok without him. I’m trying to take control of my life and sort out stuff I’ve been avoiding for ages.

This will probably be my last post of 2017, so – Happy new year everyone, I hope 2018 is a good year for us all!

Love,

Ellie xx

Merry Christmas

This Christmas will be a hard one for me (and for many of you). I think Christmas is always hard for people with depression, other mental illnesses or chronic health conditions… everyone is cheerful and expects the same from you. But newsflash – depression (or any other illness) doesn’t care that it’s Christmas, Christmas doesn’t make it all go away.

All I can do is try to enjoy it as much as I can. I will have lots of family around me and good food, so I’ll just try to make the best of it.

This christmas I am reminded of all that I’ve lost this year… I usually have lots of plans with S in December, and it’s weird that he’s doing his own thing and I’m doing mine. It’s hard not to wonder if he’s missing me too (I guess not since he chose to leave me.) I am also reminded of the family members who are missing, especially my grandma who we lost very recently.

I will do my best to smile, to eat and joke around. I will try to focus on what I have instead of what I don’t. But I will probably feel upset and a little lonely. That’s ok, that’s how this works. I’m not going to pretend it’s been a good year because it hasn’t.

Just do what is right for you. Take care and merry Christmas.

Love,

Ellie xx

Still trying

I don’t feel positive at all but I’m trying to be. I’m remembering how low my lows can be and it’s not good.

Somehow through it all I am getting stuff done. I see my friends, go to family events, turn up to work every day. Each evening is hard as I tend to feel worse then, more time to think.

I’m doing my ‘must keep busy so there’s no time to think’ thing and I know I will burn out eventually but right now I don’t see an alternative. I have a whole week off work over Christmas so will try to take it easy. I just need to make sure the thoughts don’t take over.

Let me end this post with a lovely quote. I read it in a book recently, it was a crappy chick lit book (I must confess I like them!) and I can’t even remember the name, but I remember the quote –

“The darker the storm, the brighter the rainbow”

Love,

Ellie xx

Dark place

Trigger warning: suicidal thoughts + self harm

I find myself in a very dark place. Everything that has happened these last few months has taken its toll. The work related stress, the fibro diagnosis, the break up, my grandma passing away… And even before any of that, my mood was creeping lower, after the 6 month period of being relatively stable. I feel guilty that the main thing on my mind is the break up. I desperately miss S, he is ignoring all contact with me, it hurts.

I don’t know what to do with myself. I can mostly put on a front when I’m out, when with friends or at work. At home the barriers are down, which to me indicate things are even worse… I am bursting into tears frequently. I told my parents I can’t cope. I’m a mess.

Although I’ve had thoughts of self-harm and suicide on and off for years, for the first time in years, I took a knife to my skin a couple of weeks ago and again today. It’s quite blunt so it doesn’t cut properly, more of a scratch, to make it sting. No danger, no drama.

The suicidal thoughts are scaring me now. They are getting more and more frequent and I find myself starting to make plans. If there was a way that I could do it without hurting others, I’d be gone. But there isn’t. That’s what I have to remind myself.

I’m in a dark place and I don’t know how to get out. I just need to try and stay safe for now, that’s the best I can do.

Love,

Ellie xx