Sunday, 30 November 2008

things keep getting better

So I finally got out of bed at 6:30pm. Had a shower, cut myself and then almost fainted. I suppose it was a bit silly to have a hot shower when I hadn't had anything to eat or drink in 24 hours.

About the cutting - I lasted about a month before giving in, I suppose that's not bad. It wasn't even worth it. For possibly the first time ever I didn't even feel anything emotionally or physically, I'm that numb.

I just feel so alone at the moment. I can't talk to my parents about it, the ex couldn't care less about me, and my two friends who I usually can talk to about this stuff don't seem to care at all.

I weighed myself earlier for the first time in a couple of weeks or so, and I've now lost over a stone (fifteen pounds) since the summer. I was actually shocked, I didn't think I'd been eating that badly recently (this weekend not included). You'd think that would make me want to eat something, but I still don't care enough, and I'm not even that hungry.

I actually haven't felt this suicidal in a long time.*

*For the record, I'm not going to act on it.


My weekend hasn't improved much from my last post. In fact, it hasn't improved at all.

Actually, that's the wrong choice of words. My weekend has been fine. It's me that's been a mess. I've just been so incredibly low. I haven't had the motivation to do anything except sleep all day, which meant that I was up til 4:30am last night. It's 5:30pm now and I've got out of bed once to go to the toilet, that's it. I haven't even had anything to eat, and I'm not even particularly hungry. I just don't care enough to eat.

I know I should try and break the cycle and I have so much guilt over the things I know I should be doing and that I need to do, but everything just seems like too much effort at the moment.

Saturday, 29 November 2008


I feel the need to write something and yet I have nothing to say. Everything feels completely blank and empty right now. There doesn't seem to be a point in doing anything. I'm hungry, but I can't be bothered to get something to eat. I should probably just go to bed and hope things are better in the morning, but I can't be bothered to move. There is no point in even writing this, but I still feel like I should. I want to give an honest account of my life and my experience of depression in this blog, so here it is.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

the first appointment

I had the doctor's appointment this afternoon. I've been prescribed 20mg of Citalopram (any readers ever taken this drug before? If so what has your experience of it been like?) and I have another appointment in two weeks.

Strangely, it feels like the world's biggest anti-climax. I was incredibly nervous beforehand and I found actually talking about my symptoms incredibly uncomfortable, but the doctor was really understanding. Now that it's over I do wonder why I put it off for so many years. It's very tempting to play the "what would my life be like if I'd actually taken this step ten years ago" game but I really don't want to go down that road. It's something that kept going over and over in my head for so long, and it took so long to build myself up to doing it I'm now realising that actually that was probably the easiest part as opposed to the hardest part like I thought it would be. I think at this point the hardest part is very much still to come.

Monday, 24 November 2008

a break from myself

Things have been really up and down the last few days. Depression isn't too bad, but the anxiety has been. I had a driving lesson this morning which brought on severe anxiety last night as usual, then this week is going to be a bit of an anxiety inducing week. I've got a meeting with an occupational therapist on Wednesday in order to gain experience/advice for my Occupational Therapy MSc application, and meeting new people always brings on anxiety. I'm not sure how I'm really going to be an occupational therapist when I get so anxious around people, but let's just cross our fingers that I manage to sort it out by the time that happens.

I would so love to be an occupational therapist, I just don't know if I can do it. Actually, it's not even that. I think I could do it, I just don't know if I could cope with the anxiety. Plus it's embarrassing to admit, but my hands sweat a lot, particularly when I'm anxious. It's been a nightmare ever since I was a kid, and if I do a job where I'm going to have to be physically touching people I can't be sweating all over them. I suppose it's something I'll have to talk to the doctor about.

Ah yes, the doctor's appointment on Wednesday. Still dreading it with every fibre of my being.

I feel like I'm on autopilot at the moment. I can feel the anxiety and depression pushing through in the back of my mind and if I let the floodgates open then I won't be able to cope. And I can't not cope right now, it's just not an option. I've got too much to do and too much is at stake in terms of my degree, I've come too far to let it all be ruined now. So I keep fighting it off, but it's exhausting. I just want to curl up in bed and never get out, but I can't, and I can't let myself think it or it'll become even harder to fight.

I wish I could just take a break from myself for a bit.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

unconditional love

After a conversation with my best friend today and reading a post by Something More Than Ordinary, I've been thinking.

Is it actually possible for someone with mental health problems to have a relationship (that works) with someone who never has? In my experience (and after talking to the best friend about her experiences), no you can't.

Ex #1: The first love. I was fifteen when we started going out, and I was absolutely head over heels about him. I thought he was the one, I thought for the first time I had someone who really understood me and really cared about me and would stick with me like no one else had. We went out for just over a year, and then he dumped me for someone else. To say that I was devastated would be a slight understatement.

Ex #2: We went out for just under a year when I was nineteen, and he hardly knew anything about me. I didn't tell him about any of my problems, especially not my self harm. Ultimately I feel it didn't work out because I always kept a barrier between us. I didn't feel I could really be myself by telling him the truth. He is a lovely guy, but I just don't think he would have understood. And because of what happened with Ex #1, I was too scared to allow myself to get that close to someone again. (Incidentally, this is the guy I was thinking of having ex-sex with.)

Ex #3: We started going out at the beginning of this year, and broke up just over a month ago. I felt we developed a strong connection almost instantly, and I finally had someone I could be myself with. I told him about my depression and self harm after only a few weeks, and he seemed to understand. I still don't know what happened, but eventually that trust seemed to fade away. When I first told him about the self harm I promised I would stop (I have since learned never to make a promise like that to anyone), and just never told him when I started again, until the end of our relationship when I'd reached breaking point. The thing is, I know my "issues" made him incredibly uncomfortable whenever I'd tried to talk about it. When I finally, painfully, revealed that I was still cutting, I got pretty much no reaction. I desperately wanted something from him; I wanted to know that he cared, and that he loved me enough to help me through it, but I got nothing. I think I broke up with him to test him, to see if he'd still stick around even if I pushed him away, and the test failed. I think in the end he was probably relieved that he'd had an "escape".

So back to my original point. Is it possible to find someone who will stick around, who will love you unconditionally and be willing to help you through the low points? Is it even fair of me to expect someone to be willing to do that? But on the other hand, surely it can never really work if you keep things to yourself, because there will always be that wall there?

My parents divorce also gave me a pretty dismal view of everlasting, unconditional love, and although I'm pretty sure it does exist for some people, I just can't imagine anyone would ever feel that strongly about me.

Friday, 21 November 2008

i did it

I finally booked a doctor's appointment today, and I am officially terrified.

I met up with a friend for coffee this afternoon, and we had a good talk about everything. She's currently in recovery from anorexia, and she gave me some really good advice. Basically she told me to just do it. Book an appointment (or keep trying til I can) and get it over with. I told her how busy I am this year, and how I'm wondering whether I really have the time, strrength and motivation to dedicate myself to getting better. She pointed out that it doesn't have a be a huge life-altering event, I can just take it one step at a time. I don't need to overload myself with trying to transform myself completely, but even booking one appointment is a step in the right direction.

After we said goodbye I started walking back to uni, and without even meaning to I ended up passing the health centre. And I decided she was right, I needed to take that first step, so I did. I have an appointment on Wednesday.

I know doctors have seen and heard it all before, and I know I won't be the first person to have gone to them with mental health problems, but I still feel like I will be. I still feel like they'll just be thinking what the hell are you going on about, get over it. I don't even have a clue what I'm going to say, I don't even know where to start. But like my friend said, I have to just take it one step at a time.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


A friend of a friend was rushed to hospital with a brain haemorrage a few days ago, and died today. I barely knew her but even I'm in shock, she was only my age (early twenties) and it came on so suddenly. It's so scary that someone you care about can just disappear out of your life in the blink of an eye. Losing the people I love has always been my biggest fear, I would completely fall apart if anything happened to my best friend or my family.

I had a really horrendous, terrible thought when I found out she was in a coma, which I'm only daring to reveal here because it's anonymous: I wished I was her. I wished I could just slip away without hurting my parents with the knowledge that I wanted it to happen. Even more pathetic was the thought that maybe it would make my ex regret giving up on me and cutting me out of his life so harshly. What the hell is wrong with me? Surely no normal person thinks like that.

I didn't go to the doctor today, and realistically I don't know if I will all week. I'm so swamped in university coursework at the moment, and it's completely out of my way to go to the health centre when I'm busy working. By the time I finish it's dark and cold and I just want to go home. It's a pretty weak excuse, but I seem to have lost my willpower. I'm going through such a stressful time being in my final year of university, do I really have the time and strength to dedicate myself to recovery? I'm not sure whether being too depressed to beat my depression is a complete contradiction in terms or not.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


If I believed in God I'd think he doesn't want me to get help.

After my struggles to book an appointment with the university counselling service, I decided to try a new tack and go see a GP instead. After my experiences of working for mental health services I've come to the conclusion that medical doctors aren't particularly understanding to those with mental health problems, and it always made me reluctant to see one. But deep down I know this is the best option in the long run - they can prescribe me medication if needed, or refer me to on to a psychologist.

The university health centre has moved from campus to the city centre, and I couldn't find a phone number to book an appointment with, so off I went into town. I eventually reached the health centre to find that it was closed today for staff training. Argh! It takes long enough for me to build up the courage to try and get help and whenever I do I never get anywhere! I know it's only a little thing, but I build myself up for it and I just want to get it over with. I'm going to try again tomorrow, I really hope I make some progress this time.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

self harm

Despite still not eating properly (I just don't seem to be hungry at all, although it's having horrendous effects on my digestive system, not wanting to go into too much detail) I actually think I'm coming out of my bad few weeks. My mood just seems to have lifted, and I don't know what's caused it but I'm not complaining.

The only problem with this is that I always go through these cycles, and never end up getting help for it. When I go through a bad phase I decide to go see a counsellor, then by the time I get round to it I'm feeling better. I know I should still probably go, it would be better for me in the long run, but I just don't have the motivation to face my intense fear when I'm feeling better. I don't even know how I would begin to talk about my problems with a counsellor right now. I could start with my self harm I suppose, but I haven't cut in weeks, despite how desperate I've been to. I suppose now is a good opportunity to talk about it.

I started self harming when I was seventeen. Oddly enough this was when I'd just started coming out the worst of my depression between the ages of eleven and fiteen, so it seems strange at first that I would start then. But I think there are two reasons for this. Being seventeen was a pretty bad year for me - I broke up with my boyfriend who I was entirely emotionally dependent on in a pretty heartbreaking way, my grades at school plummeted (I'd always been quite a good student) and I was still struggling (and not succeeding) to fit in with my peers at school. And the second reason is, I simply don't think I had ever heard of self harm before then.

It's hard to pinpoint the exact first moment I discovered self harm, my memories have become a bit of a haze. That summer I went on holiday with a group of friends, and the boys were obsessed with buying and collecting knives. Not in a thuggish way, they weren't like that, they just liked the decorative ones, and the knives were all about as sharp as a dinner knife anyway. In the end they convinced me to buy a pink flick knife, I think they thought there was some poetic irony in it. Later on that summer, I watched Thirteen with my best friend for the first time, which is still my favourite film even now. I have no idea what my exact thought processes were which led me to it, all I know is that I decided I wanted to try and cut myself with my pink blade.

The knife wasn't sharp enough at all of course, but it was enough for a few scratches, and it was enough to get me hooked. For the next four years I self harmed with varying frequency - when I first began it was once every few days, but at one point I went six months without it. My weapon of choice was nail scissors - enough to leave scratches and give me enough of a release, but not enough to draw blood. Ultimately I was too squeamish to be a "proper" cutter, and I told myself that meant I had it under control.

My current two best friends were concerned, but I told them that I'd never drawn blood, that it was all under control. Everyone does things that are bad for them in order to cope - some drink, some smoke, I cut, what's the problem?

This was until a few weeks ago. I'd split up with my boyfriend, and that night he'd told me he didn't want to get back together. I'd spent the night drinking and attempting to have a good night with my friends, but I couldn't fight off how devastated I was. When I got home I cut my arms with a razor for the first time. It genuinely terrified me, and made me realise how little control I do really have over it. I was completely convinced that I would never, ever cut myself deep enough to draw blood, and now I've crossed that boundary I have to accept that enough is enough. So I've quit, and amazingly I haven't gone back. I'm still desperate to, but with willpower and a restriction on my alcohol intake, I haven't given in. I can't promise I won't ever go back to it in future, but for now I'm proud of myself.

Saturday, 15 November 2008


I am really, really horny right now. I've spent half the afternoon with my Rabbit, and it hasn't made the slightest bit of difference.

I think I just miss being with a man. I don't even miss having a boyfriend as such, just having a guy touch me and being in his arms. I'm really tempted to suggest meeting up to my ex. We broke up in January on pretty good terms after being together for a year, and our last time together was absolutely fantastic (probably because we both knew it would be the last time). I miss having that kind of passion in my life. Towards the end of my most recent relationship I felt like my boyfriend just didn't really want me anymore. I want to feel wanted again.

Sleeping with the ex - good idea or bad idea? There is definitely no way I would want to get back in a relationship with him, but he's a lovely guy and I still find him attractive. I feel comfortable with him, I know we'd have a great time - so no problem, right?

Ha, listen to me going on like this like I know for a fact he would even want to sleep with me again.


As mentioned in my previous entry, my eating has not been good recently. I just had two slices of toast, and that was the first thing I'd eaten all day (it's 4:30pm). I tend to swing between two extremes when it comes to food and depression - either I'll comfort eat and go through bags of crisps and huge chocolate bars in one sitting, or I just won't eat. Usually it depends on how extreme my depression is; it's only when things get really bad I won't be able to eat.

I've spent ages desperately craving a binge, so in some ways it's now a relief to have no desire to eat. And I hate myself a bit for it, but I've lost about 7 pounds so far and I quite like it. I comfort ate through most of last year when I was at a job I hated, and I just couldn't shift the weight afterwards. I'm finally getting back down to a comfortable weight, and therefore as unhealthy as it is I don't have any real desire to start eating properly again.

I know I shouldn't be thinking like this, my best friend is anorexic and it breaks my heart to see how much she struggles. If anything surely I should be going in the opposite direction, I should want to eat properly so as to not end up like her? But one thing I've learnt throughout my life is that I can't ever force myself to think the logical things I know I should be thinking.

The thing is, when I was at school I was always skinny. I weighed seven and half stone and I could eat anything without putting on weight. I used to go through can after can of Coke every day. Then of course as soon as I went to uni my metabolism changed, and because I'd started binge drinking myself into oblivion every week the weight piled on. And although I've always been a perfectly normal weight, I notice the difference. Being skinny never really did me much good with boys at school as my previous post on relationships will tell you, but I still miss being The Skinny Girl. It was the one thing that made me stand out.

Friday, 14 November 2008

scattered thoughts

I could very happily spend the rest of the night in bed. This is bearing in mind that 1) It's only 8:30pm, 2) all I've eaten today is a bowl of porridge and two slices of toast and 3) if I don't do some washing I'm going to have nothing to wear tomorrow. But I have literally no motivation right now.

Life has been a bit of a struggle the last couple of weeks. I wouldn't say I've been really depressed for a long time, but all of a sudden I feel like I've been hit by a ton of bricks and I'm not sure what's triggered it.

I broke up with my boyfriend just over a month ago, after 8 months. This was someone who I'd trusted enough to tell about my self harm, who told me I was the love of his life and wanted to marry me some day. I'm still devastated it's over, but I was doing OK at first. It's only recently that everything has felt like it's too much. I can't even concentrate on what I'm writing I feel so dizzy from hunger, but I don't have the motivation to make some dinner. Plus my housemate's friends are downstairs and I really can't deal with people right now.

I'm trying to book an appointment with the university counsellor. I've never sought help before and I'm absolutely terrified. So far they don't seem to be that helpful - I tried emailing for an appointment (which it says on the website is possible), and they told me to come in person or call them. So I went to the office and it turns out it's the office for all of student support, including learning difficulties, financial problems etc. I couldn't bear to admit in front of all these "normal" people that I was there for counselling, so I decided to give them a call. I called them about 10 minutes before the office closes, but I still didn't get anyone answering the phone. My intention was to try again today, but after my terrible driving lesson I just haven't had the motivation for anything. I will give them a call on Monday though, I have to. I can't carry on like this.


My driving lesson went pretty awful. Apparently I'm "lacking in confidence" - story of my life really!

I've never really had that much confidence in anything I do. Sometimes it can be easy to fake confidence - if a guy flirts with me in a club I can flirt back pretty easily (usually after a few drinks though), I can dance and kiss and feel attractive. But at the same time, I don't feel like it's me that they're attracted to. I can feel good about my looks when I've done my hair and make up and I'm wearing nice clothes, but when I'm back to being the awkward girl with glasses and jeans and messy hair, I'm not the kind of girl that stands out.

Throughout my time at school, not a single boy fancied me until my final year. Of course I wasn't the only one, but when you're a kid you think you are. Everyone else flirts, everyone else has boyfriends, except me. I had my first boyfriend when I was thirteen, almost fourteen, which isn't even particularly old. It's not the kind of age where, if I told people now, they'd be shocked at how old I was. But from the age of eleven (when I started high school) til thirteen it was the bane of my existance. I actually remember making up a holiday romance story when I was twelve; when we got back to school at the beginning of term I drew "I heart Kyle" all over my homework diary. Not that I think anyone believed it. I remember when I was thirteen hearing a "friend" of mine say behind my back once after an argument, "You know, I don't think she's ever even had a boyfriend before." Once before science class the girls were talking about which boys they'd kissed, and I had to walk away before I had the embarrassment of the question being asked to me.

My boyfriend at thirteen was one of those typical ridiculous relationships you have at that age - my best friend was going out with his best friend, and we'd go round to his house and dare the other couple to kiss. My first kiss was in my boyfriend's bathroom after being dared to by our friends, how very romantic! He bought me a bracelet for Valentines Day which I think may have come from a 20p machine, and we broke up after a month - I think he got his mate to dump me over the phone. But he wasn't a boy from my school, so I never saw him again.

The only other boyfriend I had while I was at school was when I was fifteen to sixteen. This boy was a whole other story which I'm sure I'll divulge at some point, but again, he went to a different school. So throughout my seven years at school, not a single boy asked me out.

When I was in year 13, I used to hang out with a boy in the common room during free periods. We'd just listen to my mp3 player mostly, and although I wasn't attracted to him he was a funny guy, and pretty well liked within the year at school. I still remember my amazement perfectly when a mutual friend told me he liked me. A while later he was at a party, and although I wasn't there (I was never invited to these things), I was told afterwards that he'd drunkenly announced to the whole room, "I'M GOING TO CALL KATIE!" To this day I still can't believe he would actually admit to liking me, after how I was seen by the rest of the year. That's always stuck with me, and even now I still feel that same shock whenever a boy admits to liking me. Which is pretty much my biggest downfall in relationships - I can never quite believe that they really want to be with me. I can put up a flirty front for a short while, but in the end the insecurity seeps through and destroys everything.


I have a driving lesson in just over an hour, and as usual I feel physically sick. The anxiety begins the night before each lesson, and doesn't end til the lesson does. When you have two driving lessons a week, you're spending a lot of time in a constant state of anxiety. It's exhausting.

I'm tempted to just quit, it's reaching the point where it's just too damn hard to carry on. But I don't want to quit. I want to overcome this, I want to be able to drive. If I give in now, I'll never be able to do it.

I had a few lessons when I was 17, and ended up giving up because the anxiety was too hard to take. At the time, I think it was more the fear of being alone with another person for an hour, and the fear of him judging me if I couldn't do it. But now I feel (slightly) more confident with strangers, and I like my instructor, so what's the problem? Is it a fear of failure? I don't know. But I have to get through this, no matter how much of a struggle it is.

Thursday, 13 November 2008


I've been reading Smashed: Growing Up a Drunk Girl by Koren Zailckas, and I just wanted to share this paragraph. It hit a little bit too close to home the first time I read it.

For many girls, alcohol abuse may be a stage that tapers off after the quarter life mark. Many will be spared arrests, accidents, alcoholism, overdoses, and sexual assaults. A whole lot of them will have close calls, incidents they will recount with self-mocking at dinner parties some fifteen years later. Some of them will have darker stories, memories or half memories or full-out blackouts, that they will store in the farthest corners of their mental histories and never disclose to their families or lovers. But I fear that women, even those women who escape the physical consequences of drinking, won't escape the emotional ones. I fear some sliver of panic, sadness, or self-loathing will always stay with us.

and so it begins

I'm not new to blogging - I've had one since I was 17. I've grown with it, made and developed several online friendships, and documented almost every part of my life in it. I say almost every part, because there is a big gaping hole in these 4 years of blog posts. Throughout this time (and many years beforehand), I've been keeping a big part of me secret. And this isn't some big shocking secret, I'm sure there are plenty of 21 year old girls out there just as lost as me. People throw words around like depression and anxiety and self harm and suicidal thoughts and self hatred and low self-esteem, but am I depressed? Am I anxious? Or am I just a completely normal 20-something girl in today's world?

I've carried the weight of these thoughts for about 10 years now. In my early teenage years I probably would have met the exact diagnostic criteria for depression if I'd sought help. But what reason do I have to be depressed? I have both my parents alive and well, who have always been loving and never left me wanting for anything financially. I'm at university, I have friends. What more does a girl really need? Am I just a selfish brat for not being able to appreciate what I have? Do I even deserve help?

It's reached the point that after 10 years I feel that yes, maybe I do need help. I think it would be a relief at this point to have a diagnosis, to be told there is a reason for why I feel this way. Or ultimately, maybe I am just a normal girl. Maybe everyone feels like this, but we all just hide it so well.

I'm not sure what I'd like to achieve with this blog. I suppose we'll have to wait and see what it develops into. I don't know if anyone will gain anything from reading it, I don't know if I'll gain anything from anyone having read it, I don't know if anyone will read it. Ultimately I think it would just be nice to finally put myself out there and let out everything that's been hidden for so long.