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Posts from November 2010

  • To damn needy

    by poppins1968 on 30 November 2010

    Off Prozac but having the odd valium as so angry with everyone at home.  Taking requip for restless legs and for the first 5 days fantastic but last night no twitches but awake at 4.  I just want to sleep and be normal.  Can't believe how much I hate myself at the moment.  I have nothing to be down about, other people I work with have real problems, yet I expect people to understand that I have an illness; my cbt and doctors say 'yes you have an illness' manage it and accept it'.  I never take sick as seem to function for work.  If I do  I just ocd even more about people hating me then I hate myself.  I am pathetic.  I am just too needy aren't I.

  • I haven’t been feeling very inspired to blog lately. I think I have been in ‘function mode’. When in function mode I don’t tend to think or feel much for the main part, as I’ve talked about before; so it’s hard to even focus myself to write this much. When in function mode I’d rather spend my evenings watching TV, browsing the internet for Christmas ideas or pottering around the house than blogging about my feelings or thinking about, talking about, reading about or researching DID. Sometimes the latter are all I can do.

    The last psychology session I went to was really difficult. I think I had been in function mode because I’d been having a difficult few weeks with my dad visiting and a few other stressful things going on. Normally if I’m in function mode I will try to come out of it before the session by reminding myself what we talked about the last time and by reading over things I’ve written in my diary etc. Sometimes that’s not enough to get me out of ‘function’ though. I guess I didn’t do enough to prepare myself for the session.

    My psychologist (T), launched in right where we had left off the last week when I had been altogether a different person: full of insight and reflections. Now I was jolted back to earth with a huge thud as suddenly I was being asked to talk about alters. I looked at the page of my own writing that she had handed me. It was a list I had made of all the parts I knew of. I had made the list a few months previously one day while having a moment of clarity and had given it to her along with a lot of pictures and other bits of writing that various parts had done and thought she’d be interested in. She was interested in the list and wanted me to place each person around a circular table (the ‘round table’ is a piece of work we have been doing for about a year: slow progress!).

    As I looked at my writing, it was familiar but I couldn’t relate to so much of what had been written on it. I remembered the piece of paper, I knew it was me that had written it but now it seemed as if it had been someone else. She was asking me questions about the list and I was answering them as though I was trying to remember what the person who had written it had told me about it; not as though I was the person. I felt more in the dark about DID and my alters than she.

    I quickly noticed myself becoming very anxious. I felt my heart hammering in my chest. I wanted to run from the room and out of the building and jump in my car and drive away. I felt my head spinning. I felt awkward and exposed and I felt inside, the dreaded whirlwind commence as the internal voices started to wake up again. Those voices are quieter in function mode. Function mode is easy. Having several people inside who are all fighting for their say is not. I wanted to go back to my blissful ignorance. Someone was really upset, shouting at T (inside my head) to stop talking to me; to stop asking me questions. It felt like they had been woken from a sleep and were angry about their forced presence. They wanted to tear up the paper and throw it away. Another part was scared.

    I shifted about in my seat, pulling at the sleeves of my jumper and biting my lip. T asked me if some of my parts were active inside me at the moment. I felt relieved when she asked this; she is perceptive. It was a relief to be understood. I nodded. I tried to take deep breaths and internally reassure the parts that were upset. This seemed to help.

    She asked if it was OK to continue with the ‘exercise’. I nodded but I was scared. I didn’t want to let my fears stop me. After all, one of the reasons I am in therapy is to help figure out the puzzle of Me. I need to conquer the fears that hold me back. Well maybe not ‘conquer’ but ‘tolerate’ anyway. We continued; T had asked me if I’d rather her read the information from my writings and me place each person around the table as we went through the list of alters or if I’d like to do the reading and her mark them on the table. I said I didn’t mind, so she gave the job of reading out the title and description of each alter while she marked them at the table according to where I thought they should go.

    I soon regretted taking on this task as it was very hard to read out what I had written. One moment I couldn’t connect with the writings; the next I felt my chest would explode at the emotions the descriptions were bringing up. My guess is that the alters that were being described were stirring as I read about them and some did not like to be highlighted so explicitly. I felt my anxiety levels soaring again. I was scared; I excused myself and went to the toilet.

    When I came back I asked if we could swap over, with me marking on the table and T reading. She said she was about to ask if I wanted to do that and understood it could be difficult to read the descriptions aloud. I felt relieved again. It feels so good to be understood. Something I have never really felt in my life.

    We made it through the task....just about. I felt so unable to decide who went where on the table when I was struggling to relate to some of the people on the table as being real people. T seemed happy with what we had achieved anyway. I felt...well a whole load of things at the one time... frustrated though. I always find myself getting frustrated and agitated when we work on this project. I had other things going on too though and this was distracting me...

    You see, two of the most obvious alters to me are two child alters, who I have talked about with you in previous blogs. Little C is about 5 years old and the angry child part (who has a nickname but for now let’s call them ‘angry child part’) is maybe a little older. Anyway, they both want to ‘come out’ in the session. They usually come out when I’m at home. My husband is used to seeing these ones in control at home, but they now want to meet T.

    I have had serious ambivalence about whether this is a good idea or not but have come to feel that I can trust T and should not need to be afraid of her seeing me with another alter in control. So I had communicated with Little C and angry child and agreed that they could come out in the session. I think they had been looking forward to this, but when it came to it in the session, I was too scared and my instinct to hold everything in and control them took over. I couldn’t let them out completely, although they put up a good fight. Well, I think they did come out but I didn’t allow them to speak. T said at the end of the session that it seemed another part had been there but not speaking.

    Unfortunately my struggles with my alters to not come out/come out meant a long period of time being spent with me in an internal fight which made me ‘go weird’ and which I’m sure was very confusing for T. She didn’t really seem to know what to do. I found myself dissociating in time as well, as in I sort of half felt as if I was still there but half as if I was a child and terrible things were happening to me. This is a horrible, horrible thing to experience, especially in the middle of a therapy session. I wanted to disappear and curl into a ball and cry but I was sitting in a chair with someone watching me. I wish T could keep a blanket for occasions like that and allow me to put it over myself so that I can be invisible. I know that sounds stupid but it would help me (or that child) so much. If I was at home I’d hide under a duvet and hug a teddy or suck my thumb.

    It’s hard to know what can help me at times like this. T didn’t seem to know what to do. I heard her saying that she didn’t know if talking to me helps or not, or something like that. I don’t know really what I can tell her. I don’t know myself. I guess it’s good that she is patient with me. I guess when I dissociate in this scary way waiting for it to pass is all we can do. When it happens I am fighting myself for it not to happen. I am trying to calm myself and stop my body from panicking and I’m trying to stop my mind from shutting down. Maybe it would be easier if I just let it happen. I guess this is what I would do if I was at home; I’d just shut down. I’d curl up and let my mind drift away and I’d probably just wake up later. Or if I couldn’t do that, I’d self harm. The thing is, I can’t really mentally shut down in the middle of my session because I’m not alone and I need to be mentally there; never mind the time wasting aspect of it. And I don’t think it would go down too well if I just whipped a blade out of my handbag and cut my arm, although sometimes that’s all I can think of doing at the time.

    So eventually I was back to myself and the panic had passed and I felt calmer although by no means OK. I felt like a shell of myself. I was sitting staring at the floor, kind of mentally popping in then zoning out while T talked about our next appointment. I remember her asking me if I wanted a drink of water and I was so thirsty that I was grateful for it. I remember her telling me to get my diary out and to write down the next date. I felt shattered. I felt like I had fallen into a dark hole and no one in the world would ever be able to find me. I felt like my chest was going to break and a tidal wave of pain would gush out and drown the entire world. But I sat still and my chest didn’t break and I got myself up and I think I said goodbye. I don’t know how normal I appeared but I got out the door and back to my car (just about because I couldn’t remember how to open the door release button on the main door out of the psychology department and had a bit of a fight and panic with it, even though it’s the same door I’ve been going out for two years).

    I managed to get my car out of the car park but I had to pull over and put my head down for a while. I couldn’t get myself back into reality. I felt like I kept disappearing. I was popping in and out of my life. I managed to ring my husband; I needed to pick him up but I didn’t know where he was and I couldn’t focus on the instructions he was giving me. I zoned out again and then I heard him saying: “Are you still there?”

    I drove through the city, feeling like at any second I might drive straight into a wall without realising or through a red light or into a car. I was scared. I tried to focus myself; focus on the road. I made it to my husband and asked if he could drive. He seemed to realise pretty quickly that something was up. He said: “Are you OK?” I shook my head. He said: “Do you just need to zone out for a while?” I felt so relieved. I let my head flop down and my brain do what it wanted and soon we were home and I was in my pyjamas and hiding under my duvet.

    The next few days were very difficult. A bad session can have a huge impact on my life. Dissociating like that reduces my ability to function drastically. After writing this I feel it will help me not to go to the next session as that person who can’t relate to any of this. But then again, the session isn’t for another two days. Can I maintain this level of awareness and do a good job at work?

  • thursday still miserable

    by torchwood fan on 29 November 2010

    had a few days off blogging i thought it might make me feel better but it only made me feel more alone with my BPD i went for mt medical assessment finally my cpn couldnt come again so my husband volenteered to come with me i never know whether its a good or bad thing for him to be there but i knew i could not go on my own they asked the usual questions i gave them my label BPD he was supposed to know all about mental health but i dont think he knew about this i dont know why they dont look it up on the internet first he was suppossed to know all about me do i hear voices? yes i told him i could hear them talking about me in the other room i hear them all the time because there always with me. do i see things? yes i told him about the people standing down the side of me so he carried on typing Do i get stressed and hurt myself,that was available for anyone to see if they see my wrists Do i feel like hurting others? whitch by this time i could easily have slapped him so hard but decided on saying no even though i feel i could i have not done it to date and a i did not want to give them any reason to look badly on me by now  i was now incohearent my husband was answering for me i could hear him but could not say anything myself i just. wanted to go home

    i also got my appiontment to go see some one about my weight. it was a last minute cancellation so i didnt have too long to worry about it. even though it was on the other side of town i decided bravely i would go on my own. i knew what to say and tell him how i was desperate to loose weight and see about an gastric band i am now 10 st over weight so you see i am trully desperate. i was early so i read a book i went in was weighed measured and i had my speech prepared. was i on medication?yes i was honest about what and why, he put his file down and told me i wasnt well enough to go on his 12 week plan. i am now distraught now no one will help me i try hard to be like everyone else and it was one to one so i wouldnt have upset others my mental health has ruined my life and now the year will be ending soon its just been another year of misery and self hate. im sorry i always sound miserable but thats me i suppose take care



  • Wednesday2

    by Cadence on 26 November 2010

    My dictaphone was full on Wednesday without me realising which was irritating. I was talking more in depth about how I feel about myself, namely my problems with my appearance and the sound of my voice. I've always hated having photos taken of me. Whenever anyone's waving a camera around, you can bet I'm hiding behind a pot plant or holding my glass up to my face. It's not that there are no good pictures of me, just not many. I feel like I look ugly, ten times my actual weight, red in the face, awkward and just generally rubbish. I look at pictures of myself and genuinely wonder what other people see in me. I had this problem when I went to my friend's wedding. The pictures came back and I had to spend ages on Facebook detagging them all because I thought I looked so hideous. It won't stop other people seeing them though.


    On the day of the wedding, I knew I wasn't going to have any excuse not to be in pictures. Usually, if it's just a night in the pub or at a friend's house I can request that people don't take any of me and it's all right. Sometimes people take issue with it, or they think it's really funny to take pictures anyway, which is hard because it genuinely upsets me. I start panicking and feeling sick and when I tell people to stop I can feel myself getting upset and looking like a brat. I hate it when people think they're being hilarious by using someone else's fear against them. It just shows a lack of respect. I've heard the arguments about making fun of yourself in order to overcome your fears... It's never worked for me. I figure I'll get over it in my own time and in the meantime I just request people leave me alone. The trouble with weddings is that doing that draws attention to yourself on someone else's special day, so I just had to bite the bullet and smile for the cameras. Some of them came out OK, others I would happily burn.


    When I was talking about it with Therapist, I felt sad and uncomfortable. I don't like talking about how I feel about myself, it's the thing designed to make me feel the most defensive and horrible. I actually feel even more disgusted with myself than I do usually when I examine my behaviour towards myself. It feels self indulgent and unnecessary. So I can't stand how I look, so what? I guess what hurts is that I would dearly love someone else to appreciate it. But that's not going to happen unless I can see it, is it?


    As far as my voice goes, I hate listening to myself on tape, so listening to the playback of the therapy session was especially hard. I find my voice irritating, I think I sound whiny and pretentious. (It was especially difficult as I don't think I really went into how I really feel about my mother, instead just complaining like a spoilt child!). It made me really tired. I finished up by talking about how much I miss being in a relationship. I find it hard not necessarily because I don't have a boyfriend but because I can't imagine having one again... I feel like I'm stuck. I'm excluded from the very possibility because I'm ugly and miserable. And the more I obsess over it, the uglier and more miserable I become.


    This means I'm going to have to talk about R. I don't want to but it's probably necessary.

  • Only my animals keeping me going!

    by AnnC1 on 25 November 2010

    I have not fully recovered from the depression after being made redundant and retiring nearly two years ago, coupled with the onset of chronic pain.  I has some very helpful counselling and was much improved, but this spring was put on prednisolone for suspected polymyalgia rheumatica.  This resulted in an exacerbation, accompanied by intense lethargy.  I have had varying moods since the - while I was in hospital after my hip replacement I struggled with suicidal thoughts.  My medication was changed, but is not very helpful.

    On Sunday I had a major upset at church, with bullying from one of those in charge (not the first time), which left me feeling acutely suicidal.  The one thing that keeps me from acting on these thoughts i looking at my little animals.  15 pairs of beady black eyes and three pairs of red ones - eager faces awaiting food, huddled up rat-piles, soft fur - four of them curly to varying extents.  At the moment they are grooming each other - and awaiting a corn-on-the-cob per cage.  When I pick them up, they try to groom me, especially my eyebrows.  I do draw the line at attempted mouth grooming!

    People are amzed that fancy rats can be such wonderful pets.  It started with rehoming two from friends of my friends - the mother had health problems and the husband and children wouldn't touch them.  No = they have not bred!  My one intact buck is with spayed does.  It's just that they are habit=forming - GMR (Get More Rats!)  I am now at capacity.

    I took a clonazepam this afternoon - partly for pain relief, which is why they were prescribed, and feel a lot calmer, and am making plans for a short break from that church, as well as down from the IT.  I've also booked a retreat and made other arrangements, although I will be at the carol services out of loyaltyh to our Songster leader.

  • On Monday I woke up feeling more like a more reasonable and straight forward person. I decided to directly ask my friends for reassurance and then wondered why I hadnt done this earlier instead of worrying all weekend. So simple! Incidently, they are still my friends and weren't freaked out or annoyed or anything.

    People with D.I.D generally want to be accepted and worry about being abandoned by others. D.I.D is not something I have told many people about. It is probably a big concern for most people with D.I.D that others will think they are making it up and looking for attention or wotnot.

    Actually, this is something I have struggled with myself. I have an alter who doesn’t believe in any of the rest of us but thinks they just made it all up and are just really sick in the head for doing something like that.

    It’s easy for me to see that it is real because I am well tuned in to much of what is happening now, but when that other alter is out, it is separate from us, all is quiet in their head, there are no other voices, everything is simple and clear and there is nothing at all the matter with Candycan.

    They then think about all the hours of NHS money that has gone into trying to help me and feel REALLY guilty. So if I can have my doubts (I say 'I' because I do know that the parts are all me at the end of the day: I just don’t experience them as one person) then I understand how others can too, but reading about people who don’t believe D.I.D exists and believe it is just made up, throws me into a lot of turmoil.

    I also understand that because people generally only see one aspect of me that it would come as quite a surprise if I told them there is all this other stuff that goes on that they don’t know about.

    Sometimes I am so separate from things myself that it even shocks me to think that I am able to go to work and do my job well and have a chat and a laugh with my colleagues when I might have been up until 4am the night before feeling like I want to die and hurting myself.

    I find it a fascinating disorder (if you're going to be crazy, you may as well have something interesting lol) and although sometimes I go through extremely difficult times with it, I am also learning more by the month about the condition and realising how complex the mechanics of it are, yet the mechanics, once you understand them are actually really logical.

    If there's anything you would like to know please ask me.

  • as you all have figured out by now im not at my best at the moment although saying that my life has spiralled downwards for a while now i dont know how much forther down i can go. yesterday i got a phonecall from the weight management people whitch i had been waiting for for ages to see the diatician and docter to see about loosing the weight i have piled on i know i take 600mg of quetipine and other anti sycotics and anti depressents for my BPD can help put in on as it slows down your metablism. i also have major eating problems of my own. so i was glad to get a appointment for a last minute today i went on my ownin the car as its the other side of town but i went i very rarely go out on my own but i weny i read a book while it was time to go in they weighed me took my height and blood pressure asked me if i was on any medication so i told him. i had forgotten to cover my wrists so all the cut marks showed including todays but that is nothing to do with him is it .at this time he decided i wasnt well enough to go on his course and discharge me  i think he just wanted me out of there its so unfair i really need help who will help ME why cant i be normal i am distraught i can not do anything i feel alone and uncared for i am lost in the cloud of mental illness and no one cares i try to be normal i really do but no one wants me and today just confirms this even my cpn is too busy to help me and on thursday i have my mental assessments for my benifits again i have no cpn to go with i feel tottally lost and alone

  • Friends

    by Candycan on 20 November 2010

    That last post was another part of the thing I wrote for my friend to explain about DID. I sent it to her a week ago and I asked her at the end to please let me know that she's not freaked out by it because I would be worried that she won't want to be my friend after reading it. I haven't heard back from her since so either she is freaked out or she hasn't read it yet. The latter wouldn't be so bad because it is long but at the same time, I can't help feeling hurt because to me it says 'not interested'. So either she's not interested or she's freaked out and doesn't want to be my friend anymore. I know that might not be rational thinking but that's just how I feel at the moment. I asked specifically for reassurance because I know how sensitive I am.

    I'm feeling pretty lonely at the moment (yes, even with all my friends in my head). My other friend (I don't have many friends) who is probably the person who would actually mainly qualify as a friend (i.e. the only one of my friends I see routinely), I haven't seen properly in months. I know it's partly been my fault because I was quite depressed for a while and didn't really want to see anyone, but it seems my efforts to get together are never successful anymore. She always has something else more important to do. She has got a new boyfriend now and I guess her time is filled with him. But I saw pictures of her on facebook with another girl who I am friends with too (although we don't meet up much). It wouldn't have hurt for her to invite me to join them would it? She makes a feeble effort to meet up every now and then but it always seems to be that she's trying to slot me into a last minute cancellation in her schedule. I don't feel very valued.

    We were supposed to be spending the evening together yesterday and I cancelled my other plans to do so, then she texted me yesterday morning to say she remembered she had a craft class to go to and could we just get a coffee before. I felt pissed off by this. I texted back and asked her to check her schedule and let me know some dates where she'll be definitely free over the next few weeks so that we can catch up properly but I didn't hear back.

    I probably sound like an old moan but I am just feeling alone and uncared for.

  • Switching

    by Candycan on 20 November 2010

    Changes from one alter to another is called ‘switching’. For me, switching can happen really quickly; if something upsetting happens, I may start switching very rapidly. There may be several parts present and they might come out for a few seconds at a time, so quickly it might be missed (usually when this is happening I might just appear to be in a state of anxiety/unrest). There may be more than one alter present at one time.

    Switching might happen less rapidly where one part comes out for a while e.g. an angry part might come out for the day, or if I have a big work event to do, the function part will take over. Another example might be if I were to sit down with paints and paper; this could easily provoke a switch to a child part seeing as it’s something children tend to enjoy doing.

    Switching can also happen for me in longer phases, as in I will notice usually a more dominant part for a few weeks. So for several weeks I might have absolutely no emotions about anything; life feels really easy; I go to work, do everything I should, come home, watch TV etc etc but not really be engaged in life. This is function mode. I call it that because to me it is a non person, as it doesn’t have emotion, but I feel a bit guilty that I’ve learnt to think of it that way as for me this is the easiest alter to live as and probably the most useful.

    In function mode nothing is bad and nothing is great. NB I have to activelytry to switch myself out of this mode in order to go to my therapy sessions otherwise I would sit in silence and not be able to relate to any questions about ‘feelings’ or ‘parts’. I have spent years of my life at a time in this mode and that is probably part of the reason I am missing a lot of memories; it’s almost like a robot version of me was present for those years of my life.

    Another part might then take over for several weeks at a time such as an angry part (life is VERY difficult in this case) or a depressed part (very difficult to work as this part) etc.

    It is usual for other alters to make appearances no matter which part is being dominant in any phase. E.g I may be in function mode but a child alter might still come out for an hour or so.

    Stressful situations can cause me to switch but I might switch as well if a situation is more suited to one alter e.g. watching fireworks at Halloween caused me to switch to a child alter, who then got very upset when the loud ones went off so an older, motherly alter also ‘came out’ to comfort the child alter resulting in two alters being present at the one time (plus me as an observer). Complicated!

    I don’t know what triggers the more long term switches to take place. I could be happily in function mode for weeks and then wake up one morning suddenly ‘feeling’ and I’ll realise something is different.

    I'm still learning about all of this myself, but if you have any questions or comments, I would be happy to hear them.



  • sertraline side-effects

    by AnnC1 on 19 November 2010

    I started sertraline a month ago and have recently had my dosage increased to 100mg.  I now have an almost constant headache and feel very tired.  However, if I try to rest I have peculiar physical sensations and a 'wired', restless feeling as if I'd had a lot of caffeine.  At night I'll take a zolpidem.

  • Going Back to Go Forward (2)

    by JustEliza on 19 November 2010

    “Who taught you your feelings didn’t matter?”


    The room went existentially dark, and my therapist disappeared into the shadows. I tipped into the bowl, sinking through my memories, searching.


    She leaned forward, asking even more firmly, “Who taught you your feelings didn’t matter?”


    I came through, empty-handed. No one told me I didn’t matter. I didn’t know what to say. Something wasn’t right about this. We moved on, but now that I can look back, I realize the problem wasn’t in the answer, but in the question.


    She should have asked: “Who taught you your feelings mattered?”


    The answer is: no one.


    “It must have been very lonely, having no one.” She said at the end of the therapy session, following a brief review of my history. We got there eventually.


    The bowl is filled with loneliness, and, to use a bit of Transactional Analysis, the Parent does everything it can to keep the Child drowning in it.


    “On a scale of one to ten, one being not at all and ten being very much, how much do you want to change?”


    That’s tough. I smile grimly, “I’m trying to decide which part to answer with. Should it be an average? Like, say 7-8?”


    “Which part least wants to change?”


    “The Parent”


    “And how much does the Child want to change?”




    “How much do you believe you can change?”


    “Ten. Absolutely, 100% ten.”


    That surprised her. Most people enter therapy with a great desire to change but a low belief that they can.


    From my perspective, I’d been in a therapeutic relationship with myself for most of my life, centred on this exact belief. I wouldn’t be seeing the therapist if I didn’t already know I could change. I wouldn’t be sitting anywhere, if not for the belief that tomorrow will be different.


    Maybe those other people don’t want to believe they can change, because they are afraid of what is between This Me and That Me. That person in between is in transition: more incomplete than ever, more hypocritical, more indecisive, and more fragile.


    It’s sensible to be afraid. Changing my shape also means changing the shape people have formed around me: more loss, more conflict, but also more opportunities. People will resist me, pulling me back into the drama and games.


    Well, people would have resisted me, had there been any people left in my life besides my husband. I hope my future friends someday appreciate this journey, but something tells me they will never know.

  • It’s been a while since my last post, mainly because life has dramatically changed for me since then. I have an incredibly supportive partner, who literally saved me from ‘me’ when I met him. He probably still doesn’t really realise he effect he had on me. If I hadn’t met him I don’t know what would have become of me. I can say that with certainty. I certainly wouldn’t be where I am and wouldn’t have achieved some of the things I have since. When we met – in a pub one rainy night – I was a complete mess. Maybe not on the outside (although certain parts were) inside I was such a mess. I knew within a week of meeting him that I would never feel complete without him in my life from that moment on. Four years later and we’re going to get married. Which is fantastic of course, who wouldn’t be absolutely thrilled about their wedding?! I want to marry him more than anything else in the world (and in 6 months time I will!).


    I feel like I should be on top of the world. But I just am not – I know this is not connected to getting married because before we talked about that I was starting to feel that I am struggling again. Nothing huge, just little things. Sometimes when it gets to Saturday I can’t get out of bed for the whole weekend. I literally have spend nearly 2 entire days of the weekend in bed sleeping or just laying because I just cannot find the energy or motivation to get up. I manage the rest of the week because I am so terrified of letting anyone down – not least myself – and so terrified of letting anyone think I can’t cope I make myself get up to prove to the rest of the world I can. But at weekends when I say I feel ill, I can just curl up in bed, pull the covers up and not face the world.


    I have reverted to old habits in some ways too; my whole life seems to be escapism tactics. Alcohol if it’s a bad day (every day is at the moment) to block out the feelings, sleeping tablets to stay ‘safe’ in the only place I want to be in bed. And occasionally self harm again. Although that terrifies me more than anything. It has such a huge grip on me. I very much know I am very lucky in so many ways and I am in such a fortunate position in so many ways. I desperately don’t want to be the person I was again. I want to be the person I work so hard to be. But sometimes I am just too exhausted to keep up the act.


    What scares me more than anything else, Is the reality that I know I will probably spend the rest of my life fighting these feelings. I will never just be able to be ‘okay’, I don’t feel that my mental health will ever be ‘normal’. I think I’ll always be fighting this feeling of ‘I’d just rather not be here’.


    But I’m a controlled person. I’ve worked hard to achieve so many things in the last few years and I will not let ‘me’ destroy ‘me’ again. As they say “Ignorance is bliss because if you don't know something, it can't hurt you.” Facing up to my mental health issues will hurt me a lot more than not facing up to them will. Because as the song goes maybe I’m just ‘having a bad day’…


  • Tourette's

    by felicityrivers on 18 November 2010

    Today I had an appointment with the Tourette specialist.  It went well and he has allowed me to increase the clonidine which helps with the worst tics.  He had two students and another neurologist in with him so it was a bit daunting. Afterwards I took part in their research by filling out several questionnaires which took over an hour. Some of the questions were difficult because having got bipolar disorder some of the questions applied to both disorders so it was difficult to separate one from the other. They're going to be doing brain imaging within the next few months which will be exciting.  It won't benefit current sufferers but for our grandchildren maybe things will improve.

    Yesterday was a day that I hardly remember as I felt so upset and unreal.  It was all because I rowed with my male friend.  It was over what our relationship is about.  I want friendship, he wants sex as well.  I can't seem to give him up although I am aware that it isn't good for my mental stability.

    I seem unable to think of anything else to write as I am so tired even though I'm still sleeping a lot in the day. All I seem to do lately is sleep. I hope everyone out there is managing to get by.  Mental illness makes life so hard doesn't it?

  • i cant think of a witty title today the day started off ok everyone was out hubby in bed as works nights so i could just have a go at blocking the world out for a few dinner time i went to visit mum i do this most days as she cant get around on her own. the thing is she makes me feel worthless,useless and she can take every good thing i do and take it away from me. i know its childish but why does she bring me down constantly.every year around this time my children and i send a gift through the oxfam unwrapped christmas appeal its where you pick a gift from a book or online page and send the money for that gift to be sent to africa anyway she decided for me to change to cafod instead of oxfam so i did to avoid getting her in a mood. this year i let my daughter choose so up i go to tell mother but she has decided we should pick something else and now tells me its all her and my sisters idea in the first place. do i sound petty and childish complaining its just it was one idea i was proud of it was something me and my children did together. i feel she puts me down whenever possible nothing i ever do is right even though i clean, take her shopping and all the other things she needs doing my older  sister on the otherhand can do no wrong she calls in for an hour twice a week. all my life i could never do anything as good as my sister my mother has never hugged me, never told me she loves me or showed me any affection i know im not the only one to see it my husband sees it too and with a father who was either at work or drunk i had no one so i spent my childhood alone if they were going to treat me like this i dont know why they had me my mother has a grip on me whitch i seem unable to break away from with just one comment she brings me down and back to the uselss person i am

  • Wednesday

    by Cadence on 18 November 2010

    Me: Where did we finish last week? I can't remember.

    Therapist: I think it was more of a round-up of what had gone on, rather than an individual topic. What seemed to come up most of all was that in the last week you had been feeling that you had more choices about life not having to be a terrible struggle all the time. In practical terms, (I say practical because it's more external) I think you were talking about... the following day... not feeling so bad about having to go to the job centre, because some of your friends had found jobs that had been quite reasonable.

    Me: The interview went OK. It's just a lot of forms, really. I'm still worried about how long they're going to take to process it and just generally worried about being on benefits again. But it was all right, considering. I was a bit more honest, I think, than I was last time because they ask you questions about whether you've got a disability or whether you feel like you need extra help... I never really know what to say. But last Thursday I just told them about myself and I said 'Is there anything you can do to help me?' *laughs* They didn't say 'Yes' exactly but they said 'Possibly' 'cos there are other people I can talk to, apparently, who can give me further help if I'm worried about a particular sort of job... Which is good because I thought that if you're on jobseekers you just get lumped in with everybody else and you have to take whatever comes up.

    Therapist: Well, that does sound useful. And also the fact that you felt you could be more open about what you needed and what you needed to avoid.

    Me: Yeah.

    Therapist: So there might be more of a chance of getting someone you can have more valuable discussions with about types of jobs.

    Me: Hopefully. It depends how long I can see them for, and whether this guy has actually put my name down for it 'cos you can never really tell. You see a different person every time. So it's probably that I'm going to have to keep mentioning it until I can see somebody. Maybe someone will call me. That's what he said would happen, anyway. That was OK, the fact that it wasn't awful. I had way too much information that they didn't need to see, I'm just used to them asking for all sorts of different stuff so... I'm just trying not to be too pessimistic about it, I guess. It's really easy for me to do that. I've just been noticing it more and more. And... feeling a bit sad, really because... I never thought there was any other way to be. But now I'm thinking that there is but I'm just not used to being any other way and whenever I try and be happy about something it just seems... not very authentic, I guess. Which just feels... *laughs* depressing.

    Therapist: So do you feel that happiness almost equals inauthentic?

    Me: For me, yeah. But I don't think it does for other people or generally. I don't know. This week has been kind of highlighting that for me because on Saturday I went to my friend's wedding. Then yesterday I went to... well, I didn't go to the service but it was my other friend's graduation. I went and met her from that and... she was graduating from a masters. Those two things really stuck in my mind as being really happy occasions and.. I found it really hard to... well, I was happy for them but it was difficult at the same time. I was thinking... it just feels like they can do those things, no problem, but I can't have those kind of occasions. Even finishing my degree was a mixed bag really *laughs*. I was happy about it, but at the same time I couldn't help but feel like 'So what?' There's no point to it, it's not gonna get me a job, that kind of thing... It just brought it down. But I had something really good happen this week. On ***** I went to ***** to read my poetry at the launch of this magazine that my poems were in.

    Therapist: That sounds like a very major thing.

    Me: Yeah, it does, doesn't it? *laughs* But I can't... I can't really... It's really hard for me to see it like that. I didn't even talk about it for ages and I didn't go with anybody, I just went by myself. And then I talked about it when I got back 'cos I was actually quite proud of myself for doing it when I got back. So I think it was this really good thing, but at the same time it's like I can't really see that. I'm just worried that the same thing is going to happen as every time I do something good, I just forget about it and make out like it's no big deal and 'So what?' I can always find reasons not to be happy about something I've done and I've already done that with this. I've thought 'I haven't written anything for months' and 'I'm not really a writer' like everybody else there who'd had work published in loads of places. And... it's still pretty good...

    Therapist: But you've found that you automatically went into the mode of comparing yourself negatively with others rather than thinking that actually, you've done very well to be selected. It sounds like quite a major thing, a launch, for you to be asked to come and read your poetry at it.

    Me: I think everybody gets asked but the fact that I had my poems chosen because these magazines they get sent loads of stuff... I've been rejected from quite a few different magazines too, so it is difficult getting in to these things and the one I sent my poems to that accepted them was quite... sort of major in terms of poetry I guess. It's certainly heard of, anyway.

    Therapist: Heard of as in quite well known?

    Me: Well-known for poets *laughs* You don't really go into newsagents and see poetry magazines but-

    Therapist: Well, no.

    Me: It's something that my lecturers were very pleased for me about. So that was good.

    Therapist: That does sound good. So were you asked quite some time ago or was it a recent invitation?

    Me: Well, I sent the poems off pretty much just around the time I was graduating. 'Cos these magazines take their time selecting things, it depends how soon to the deadline you send your work in and .. I think I just missed one. They actually hung on to the work that I sent for about six months before... well, they told me they wanted to provisionally accept them but that just means they could potentially change their mind before the publication. But they didn't, so I found out about that in **** and they invited me to the launch which was in ****. I was really happy about it, I've never been published... well, I had poetry published once before but that was in a very minor magazine that definitely nobody would have heard of *laughs*. It was a rush... seeing my name in print.

    [brief exchange about specifics of magazine]

    Therapist: Well, that sounds a marvellous thing to have been accepted for, as well as being asked to be there in person.

    Me: I was originally thinking I wasn't gonna go, I thought I'd be too nervous or.. I don't know. I just thought I didn't really want to. I told my mum about it and she said 'Oh you must go and I'll pay for the train ticket'. She wanted to come with me *laughs* I said no. Don't think that's a good idea... One of the poems was about *laughs* J. I don't want my mum there while I'm reading that. I had two accepted. I just wondered whether I'd be more or less nervous if I had people there that I knew.

    Therapist: So did you end up deciding that you'd be less nervous on your own?

    Me: Yeah, 'cos I've got friends in **** that I could've called and said 'Do you wanna come to this?' but I didn't in the end... I just went by myself which meant I had to... well, I just went and sat next to somebody and started talking to them 'cos I thought 'I don't wanna sit by myself'. I'm a lot better at doing that than I used to be *laughs*. It still scared me a bit. But the good thing about poetry events, cos I've been to quite a few readings, is that you can pretty much talk to anybody 'cos people who like poetry tend to like to talk a lot so... *laughs* that makes it a lot easier. It was funny, 'cos I think a few years ago I probably wouldn't have done that at all. I've never read my work like that before. I did it at uni a couple of times, but not properly like that.

    Therapist: Did you feel very nervous at the time when your turn came or was it not so bad by then?

    Me: Oh God yeah. Felt really nervous. I made a joke about it and people laughed so that made it a bit easier I think. It was OK when I was actually reading because that bit I don't find so bad. It's just beforehand... I wasn't in a good mood on **** at all. Before I went... I was still thinking about not going. I was really tired... I had quite a lot going on I suppose, 'cos I had my friend's wedding and then I had the **** where I slept pretty much for all of the day. And then on **** I was thinking about going to Charity, into the office, but I forgot that there wasn't gonna be anybody there 'cos they were all on a training course, which I would've done myself if I hadn't been going to ****. I just went and picked up my train tickets a few hours before I had to get the train because I wasn't sure I'd be able to pick up the tickets and... I was feeling quite out of it, really. The reason I wasn't sure if I could pick up the tickets was 'cos my mum had booked them for me and sometimes there can be difficulties when you don't have the card that the booking was made with. It was fine, but I didn't know that at the time and I was feeling quite annoyed with my mother for not really listening to me about that. And she'd actually rung up the night before on the ****. *** evening and I'd been asleep for most of the afternoon and the phone rang and it was her and... I'm supposed to be seeing her today. Which I think I'll do 'cos... I've run out of food *laughs a lot*. That's really bad, isn't it. I dunno. I just sort of thought I don't really want to see her because I'm annoyed with her at the moment but *laughs*. She annoyed me when she rang up on the *** because she was asking me about 'How was I feeling?' and she was asking about the wedding as well and I told her about the wedding. And then she said 'Could you buy some copies of the magazine when you get to the launch?' I didn't know what she meant by 'copies' because I said to her I don't really want- I didn't wanna tell her about it at all but I did at the end and I wish I hadn't to be honest, 'cos... I don't know. She said 'Could you buy some copies?' and I said... She knows I haven't got any money for one thing and for another I said 'Well, you could buy them from the website' because obviously they sell them on there and she said 'Oh, I can't get it to work'. Just 'It won't work'. I said 'Why not?' and she was telling about how she had to use PayPal and she'd forgotten her password and stuff like that and I just said 'Well, it's straightforward you just need to do this and this' and she said 'It won't work, it won't work' and she was just getting really irritated with me. She does that a lot... If there's something that she finds difficult, then that's it, it's impossible 'I'm not doing it... therefore you've gotta do this instead'. And that's that.

    Therapist: So you're feeling like you have to suffer for her inabilities or frustrations?

    Me: *laughs*

    Therapist: She can't do it so you have to do something for her instead.

    Me: Oh God, if she was here now she'd shoot you down in flames for that. I still have this feeling like she's in the room some of the time. With the things you say and some of the things I say here, there's quite a lot that she wouldn't agree with at all. It's difficult to remember that even if she doesn't agree it doesn't mean that it's not how I feel.

    Therapist: Well I was going to say that she may not actually be saying 'I can't do this so I'll make *** do it for me' but how it feels to you is that if she can't manage something then she'll ask you to do it instead and you feel like you've got to no matter what it costs you.

    Me: She might have meant that she'd give me the money back. It's just the fact that she said 'Could you do that?' and... I don't really want to have to carry them back on the train, I don't really want to be there buying copies of the magazine when I might want to talk to somebody or do something else. It's just all this stuff that she doesn't think about 'cos if it's not a problem for her then why should it be a problem for anyone else? I got a bit annoyed about that and when I hung up the phone... I was really tired anyway cos I'd been woken up and it meant on ****... 'cos I asked her again on the phone as well about the tickets 'cos it said several times on the print-out that I had 'You need to have the card that you made the booking with to pick up the tickets' and I was thinking 'God' you know, cos I don't have it and... I knew there was a chance it'd be fine, and it was fine, but I hated the fact that she just-... when I mentioned it to her she said 'It'll be absolutely fine, there's no problem, don't be silly'. I was just-... 'Does the fact that I've got a concern about this not mean anything to you?' It's just me being hysterical or something... I don't appreciate the fact that she doesn't listen to me.

    Therapist: So on a background of you being frequently accused of being hysterical or over-dramatic whenever a comment like that is made 'Oh, of course it'll be fine' may set off your feelings that she's back into behaving towards you as she did when you were younger and not recognizing that there's a more straightforward reality to your concern.

    Me: She's always treated me the same... She can just discount whatever I say if she doesn't agree. Like it doesn't exist... what I think. Like when I told her what Bro had said about how she is with him and she just said 'Oh, he knows I don't feel that way'. Just like that. As if there was no way I could possibly have thought about it, formed an opinion... There's no chance that it could've been true at all. I constantly feel like people think I'm stupid. I think it's mostly because I feel like she thinks I'm stupid.

    Therapist: Whereas something like you've just described is likely not about her thinking you stupid but more that she couldn't bear to consider that you may have a point about her therefore she needs to deny it absolutely. But the effect of that on you is feeling like you've been gunned down.

    Me: She's pretty fierce about it. It doesn't matter if it's just a small point... It just got to me more and more when I was a kid just... anything she didn't agree with... She's always been like that, I don't think just with me, with other people too. I'm just remembering when I did this self defence class when I was about 16. It was only for a few weeks. But when I came out of the first session, she picked me up and she asked me what I'd learnt. I told her and she just said 'Oh well I was always taught this'. And I said 'Well, no, the instructor said this' and she said 'Oh, oh, well...' Like, I hadn't been taught by someone doing it for years and *half laughs* it just drove me up the wall. I think I yelled at her that night 'cos I was just so fed up with her doing that. I don't know... I was feeling like that on *** before I got on the train. I was feeling really dizzy as well, that morning. I thought it was because I was still tired. I went down to the train station to get the tickets and then I came back to the flat and... all the way back I was feeling really dizzy and out of it and tired and...

    Therapist: I think that maybe could have been caused by tension or anxiety about doing the readings later on but also contributing to a vicious circle making you more apprehensive about going at all.

    Me: I was still thinking right up until I left that I could always just not go. And then I thought 'Well, no, I got invited to this thing, I have a right to be there, so I'm gonna go'. But... I got back from when I was picking up the tickets and I was thinking as I was walking back to the flat 'I need to lie down, I'm really not feeling well' so when I got in the door that's pretty much what I did for about half an hour. I just lay down and tried to stop the dizzy feeling.

    Therapist: Did that work?

    Me: Yeah, I think so. I... I found it all right getting up again, it was just the fact that I was there for about half an hour trying to talk myself into going to this thing. Then when I decided I was going to go it was easier to sort of get up and get my things together, 'cos I needed to print off the tick-, not the tickets, the map. Different things I needed to get there. The whole thing was really stressful. I find being in *** very stressful anyway. My mum had booked the tickets for way earlier than I needed to get there, 'cos it's cheaper that way. But it meant I had to hang around for quite a few hours before the actual event. And she said 'Oh, you can just go round the shops'. And I... didn't really wanna do that 'cos I don't really like it and she said 'Oh you could go to a gallery' and I was thinking 'Well, they're probably going to be shut by the time I get there'.

    Therapist: So it was an evening reading?

    Me: Yeah... I don't really know how to get anywhere in ****, I'm pretty much clueless. I knew how to get to the place I needed to go and in the end that's all I did. I didn't have the energy to do anything else, I'm just gonna get there, and find somewhere I can sit for a few hours before it starts. Which I did. But that was about all I could manage *laughs*. I thought 'I've got to ***' and that was enough for me. But all the time I was feeling quite angry with my mother for... I don't know, saying that I was fine as if the implication was I'd be silly to feel any other way. Why would I feel stressed or nervous or like I didn't want to wander round a big crowded place for hours by myself.

    Therapist: So as if she was particularly out of tune with you on ****.

    Me: Yeah. And she rang up yesterday and left a message. And she always just sounds so sort of.. tired and as if she's got bad news even when she doesn't. I was thinking I didn't want to phone her back to be honest but I did and so we said we were going to meet up today. I can't stand the fact that she's clearly... there's something going on, like she's tired, she's in a bad mood, whatever, I'm not stupid, I can see that, I can hear it in her voice, but she won't ever admit to it or want to talk about it or anything. So I have to put up with this constant... I don't know.

    Therapist: Something that doesn't feel at all real.

    Me: It's two different things. It's me knowing that she is tired and there is something up and she is thinking about it and her saying 'No, of course there isn't' and refusing to talk about it and saying that she's fine whenever I ask her how she is. And maybe she thinks that she is fine, I don't know, but I don't think that she is. I'm tired of living with those two different things, it's just too much, I can't live with both. It's the same with my dad, I can't keep living with both him being really miserable and him carrying on every day and behaving in really unfair ways towards other people and... just putting up with that.

    Therapist: So it sounds like that by going to **** your frustrations with your mother have kind of come to a head.

    Me: I was just thinking 'How long can I keep having this relationship with her where I meet up with her and we talk without us having a proper shouting match at some point'. I just feel like it's going to happen... it could probably happen really easily. All I have to do is say 'I don't want to talk about that' or 'Don't say things like that' to her and it can sort of kick off an argument. *phone rings and I turn it off* She knows I'm here...

    Therapist: Is that her?

    Me: *laughs* No, it's B, the woman I work with, she's probably just forgotten... I just feel like it's a really difficult thing to keep having this kind of relationship with her where I'm actually not saying quite a lot of the stuff that I want to say and pretending that it's all right that way. I don't want to stop seeing her and I don't want to have ... I don't want us to fall out. I'm just not sure how much longer I can keep doing this. I suppose I'm scared as well. I don't feel like I've got a lot of security in anything anyway, I don't want to lose any more of it.

    Therapist: So you're scared that you might confront her or come out with something that might break something between you?

    Me: Mmm.

    Therapist: Well, it may be that her various comments and responses to your... the magazine and your trip to *** and the tickets and all the times around it have highlighted a lot of those things. And it may be that because you were going to do something really very significant, some major and adult, it may have felt even harder because you had had those kind of responses from her. More contradictory than if she was just taking you shopping. So there was something about your trip on *** that made her seem even more out of synch with your reality than most other times.

    Me: I suppose it made me feel like... that I'm right to discount in in my mind as being... I can just say 'It didn't really mean anything and so what...' I'm not the sort of person that should have been there. They probably just took pity on me and that's why they asked me to go. All of this negative stuff because she was telling me about what I needed to do in order to pick up these train tickets. She was explaining it in great detail how I needed to print off the thing and take it to the station and... I was just thinking 'I've travelled by train before, I've booked tickets before' I did it quite a lot when I was seeing L, she knows that, I did that quite a few times in a year. It's like it doesn't matter.

    Therapist: Also particularly hard for you as being beholden to her to some extent, the fact she bought the tickets which would make it more difficult to deal with your feelings. But it sounds like there was an awful lot of you which was having to work very hard not to be completely undermined by the fact that you were feeling not up to going. So really quite an achievement in fighting these feelings and managing to go and do it. In the face of all the things you felt so under attack from.

    Me: It's true, I was proud of myself for doing it. I did feel like it was a positive thing to do. I just wish I could-... I found the last week really hard in terms of looking around and seeing what my friends are doing and thinking... What I did on *** was a really good thing and that's the same as... well, it's the same for me anyway. I'm probably not going to be able to afford to do a masters until I'm about fifty anyway...

    Therapist: Oh dear.

    Me: You know how expensive they are. And as for getting married, I've got no idea... Doing the things that I want to do like going on ****. It's so important...

    Therapist: Very important.

    Me: Yeah. I just wish I felt that more. And not quite so sad. 'Cos it was really hard getting through both of those things, really. At my friend's wedding it was... I was quite upset for some of it, but it was her day so I didn't want to say anything or do anything so I just sat on it until I got home and then I cried for a bit. I was feeling really... It was quite overwhelming.

    Therapist: Is this your friend L?

    Me: Yeah. It was a really lovely day.

    Therapist: And a very big event to have been to. She's the same age as you, isn't she? (23)

    Me: Mmm hmm.

    Therapist: So a very large... almost larger than life sort of comparison perhaps to be made, in terms of what you've said about her before. Was it in her church that you described?

    Me: Mmm.

    Therapist: The community being what was good about it even if the Christian bit wasn't very identifiable.

    Me: *laughs* Yeah, I spose I don't really go in for all that. It was a bit like sitting through a church service, 'cos they are just like that and a lot of it was about God and Jesus and commitment to God and it.. *laughs* No idea what that means, really.

    Therapist: And then quite a bit of time at the reception afterwards?

    Me: Yes. It didn't go on really late, I wasn't expecting it to. They wanted to head off 'cos they were going for their honeymoon straight away, so... I think the whole thing lasted about six hours including the service, so I guess it wasn't really really long.

    Therapist: Long enough if it felt like quite an ordeal.

    Me: Maybe, yeah. I mean, 'ordeal' makes it sound like I wasn't enjoying any of it. I was, it's just once again I was in a position where I was with a few of my friends and... mostly conversation tended to be... well, it was around the bride obviously, but also their own relationships and what's happening for them. It's pretty hard to hear. A few of them are thinking about marriage themselves.

    Therapist: So a lot of emphasis on people's closeness to each other. What they have and what they're hoping for in the near future.

    Me: Yeah and their jobs as well which is... *laughs*. It's hard because trying to compare myself to them is just no good, it's never going to make me feel any better because I haven't got a job, I haven't got a relationship, I'm feeling shaky about where I'm living... Relationship with my family is less than brilliant. Where's the bit of my life that I can feel happy about? I can say that I've got good friends, which is good.

    Therapist: Yes.

    Me: It's difficult to... it's hard not to get too upset I suppose *starts to cry*

    Therapist: Perhaps this was why you were so tired on ***.

    Me: Probably. *laughs a little* Yeah, just couldn't keep awake.

    Therapist: Did you feel able to tell your friends on *** about what you were doing on ****?

    Me: No! *laughs more* Didn't even mention it I don't think.

    Therapist: Maybe you also didn't feel confident beforehand that you would manage to go.

    Me: Probably part of it, yeah.

    Therapist: Now maybe you can tell people about it.

    Me: Yeah I did last night when I met my friend. I realised I hadn't mentioned it to her at all, not even about being published. That felt better.

    Therapist: Is this the friend that graduated?

    Me: Mmm. She's doing a phd now and planning her own wedding... *laughs*

    Therapist: Was she one of the people there on ***?

    Me: No, she doesn't know L.

    Therapist: She's yet another friend heading for marriage.

    Me: Yeah. She and her fiance have been together quite a long time, about eight years, maybe... Been engaged for a few years... I don't know, I suppose they're the couple in our group that you just could never ever picture splitting up. It's hard being around both of them some of the time because.... not only is it a reminder of what I haven't got but also it's spending time around couples who seem to love each other that much, it just makes me realise I don't even have an idea of what that's like. Let alone a chance of it happening, I've got no idea of what it even feels like. 'Cos I suppose to be with somebody like that... well...

    Therapist: Is it partly the length of time as well?

    Me: Yeah...

    Therapist: Potentially knowing each other so well now because of being together such a long time.

    Me: Yeah, it is a long time. It's not really something I can imagine either. It's more that they've been able to keep something like that for that long.

    Therapist: In a way of almost growing up together. Are they about your age?

    Me: F is... she just had a birthday so she's 26, perhaps? I think she's 26, I probably should've asked *laughs*. And M is 29, almost 30, so bit older.

    Therapist: When I said growing up I was imagining them being together since they were about 15 maybe, which would make it all the more remarkable. But it's still quite a young age in her case. So maybe there's a lot about it that felt painfully enviable.

    Me: It is enviable but it's also... because it's unimaginable I don't even know what I'm envying here, or what strikes me the most. It feels like that part of my life is shut. I haven't... it's not that I haven't thought about it, it's like it's no longer an option. I got tired and.... fed up, I suppose, with how upset it made me. Every single time I got into a relationship I got upset, so it's logical to not bother. It does upset me, it's difficult *cries*.

    Therapist: Maybe one of the hardest things is feeling that if you can't imagine it, then it also means that you can't have it. Whereas the two don't actually go together like that. Just because you can't imagine it, doesn't mean that you have no chance of getting into something like that. But it's quite understandable that it can feel like that as an onlooker to someone else's relationship.

    Me: I just don't want any more situations that make me unhappy, I guess. I wouldn't say that all of my ex-boyfriends are the same. I've just felt the same.

    Therapist: It sounds like it's been a significant week. We'll need to finish there but I'd just like to say it sounds marvellous that you've had your poems accepted into the magazine.

    Me: *half laughs* Thank you.

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