I made the decision to share my muddled mind through this blog because (though I’m far from recovery and therefore not really qualified to advise) I felt that sharing my experiences might help other sufferers feel less isolated.
I hope that by my ‘telling it how it is’ someone somewhere will find some relief in reading.
Having said that I do worry (a lot!) that being too honest about some of my mental health symptoms may do more harm than good and it’s for that reason I’m going to suggest that if you're feeling particularly vulnerable at the moment you don’t read any further into this post….
In recent months I’ve had various conversations with friends (some via twitter, one face to face) who have recently self - harmed or are struggling with thoughts or urges relating to self - harm.
One lady (heartbreakingly) confided that she is mentally making plans to re home her pets because she feels suicidal and is concerned that she might act on these feelings leaving her pets uncared for.
Some of the people I spoke to have complex mental health issues (some have physical disabilities too) and they all told me that their self- harm and/or suicidal thoughts are related to fear of their current or anticipated WCA (Work capability assessment).
Of course I know from personal experience that paranoid fear, irrational thoughts and an inability to cope with change often go hand in hand with mental illness, however, given the treatment that so many have endured at these DWP
assessments interrogations it’s hardly surprising that so many
sick & disabled people feel incredibly anxious at the moment.
People are desperately afraid - overwhelmed with fear - deeply affected by right wing ‘scrounger’ propaganda and very concerned about their future.
They’re terrified by even the idea of having to expose themselves (face to face) at a ten minute (tick box) assessment (to a complete stranger) who is unlikely to be qualified to assess mental illness and even less likely to empathise. They are also despairingly aware that even if they are lucky enough to qualify for benefit it won't be long before the process begins again!
Many are self - harming some feel suicide may be a better option than continuing to battle both debilitating mental illness and the ‘powers that be’.
Many are far sicker now (under a system that in many cases claims they are fit for work) than they were under the previous system which recognised that they were NOT fit for work and supported them accordingly.
Am I afraid? Yes I’m afraid, Very afraid.
Has my own tendency to self - harm increased as a direct result of the coalition’s attitude towards disabled people?
Yes! Though I’m ashamed to admit it my own self harming behaviour has increased both in severity and frequency.
Do I want to continue living with this daily, nightly overwhelming, debilitating fear?
NO! Oh God no, it’s too much, too much….!
I can’t see an end to it and my own symptoms have been greatly exacerbated.
Do I feel suicidal? - Do I wish I were dead?
Those of you who know me either through contact or through my writing will already know the answer to this question! You’ll know that I am and always have been terrified of death. You will have read here >> Scared to shut my eyes! about my overwhelming fear of death as a child, you’ll know how terrifying my intrusive thoughts are and how often they relate to fear of death.
NO - I don’t feel suicidal, I have NEVER felt suicidal no matter how much life, other people (or my own mind) has thrown at me. - No - I don't wish I were dead.
I don’t now and I didn’t in 1986 when life, other people (and my own mind) caused me to suffer a complete mental breakdown and I attempted to take my own life.
I don’t remember how I got to my bedroom that evening with a full bottle of ‘paracetamol’ and a pint glass of water. I don’t remember planning or contemplating suicide or for one single moment wishing I was dead.
I don’t remember thinking about my 8 month old baby or wondering how he would cope without me.
I don’t remember feeling suicidal, I don’t remember wanting to die.
I DO vaguely remember taking the pills.
There was no lining up of tablets like you see on TV, no thoughts, no fear, no emotion, no tears, there was *nothingness*.
I tipped the pills from bottle to mouth (how I swallowed so many at once is beyond me) and washed each mouthful down with water until there were no more pills to take.
There are some blurry (vague) memories after that, my first husband slapping me very hard (this confused me) – baby crying - arriving at hospital in an ambulance – a black tarry substance - gagging on a tube - a drip – a white ceiling through a strange tunnel vision, then blank again. Days of nothing, no thoughts, no emotion – *nothingness*….!
I have never ‘contemplated’ suicide BUT in ‘1986’ (20 years old without so much as a passing thought for the first of my five children) I very nearly succeeded in taking my own life….!
I had a point when I started writing today and I’m not sure if I’ve succeeded in making it, so briefly - For many mental ill (and, indeed, physically ill) people - there is a very fine line between incredible strength, and *can’t take anymore*.
I am deeply concerned that the UK Governments relentless cuts & cruel propaganda are pushing many already vulnerable people worryingly close to - *can’t take anymore*.
I'm 27 years on, I'm still here and my fifth child (my last baby) is nagging me to move away from the lap top and use my imagination. I cannot stress enough how thankful I felt this evening when she rolled in from school and threw her smiley, gorgeous self into my arms. Life is tough at the moment, it has been to varying degrees for as long as I can remember but I feel incredibly blessed to be here.
Father, I pray your protection this day and always over the lives of all sick and disabled people.
I pray peace for those who are oppressed, despairing, afraid and strength for those who are close to giving up.
I’m weighed down with their despair and with my own. I want to do something, make a difference - I don’t know how!
I’m open to suggestions Lord, in the meantime I place me and mine and them and theirs into your hands. Amen.
Thank you as always for allowing me to share.
GOD bless you and all those you love
Kimmie x Copyright©2013kimmie All Rights Reserved