From Ceinwen

Dear You,

If you are reading this you must be struggling, finding it hard to find anything in your life of any worth. It is not that long ago I too felt that way.

Maybe all you can do is wish you could end your endless suffering. Life has become an existence, just wanting to sleep to escape from the endless thoughts of your worthlessness. You may have lost all hope and cannot see any possibility of your life improving. Unable to perform the simplest of tasks you have become totally dependent on others for food and human contact. Tears falling in gratitude, their kindness making you feel more unworthy. Unable to say how awful you feel for fear they too will lose patience with you.

Full of guilt and shame, did you draw the curtains today or even this week, or month? Did you get washed or dressed? Is the place such a mess all you can do is run back to bed and hide under the duvet?

That was me behind closed curtains I spent months in a state of unclean shame. Wishing I could end it all, take every pill in the house, but knowing failure would be even worse, and success cause pain for the few that still cared.

They said I had felt this way before and got over it, but they were wrong I’d never lost all hope, all motivation before. ‘You have to try’ they said, not understanding I had tried all year, and this was the result. A whole year I strived to forge a network of people and activities, things to make my life worthwhile. I opened doors only to find there was nothing inside for me. Spent time in rooms but was pushed outside. Confusion, anxiety and panic finally took over. It is with gratitude I thank those who with their gentle words and gift of time made sure I was safe at these times.

Maybe I had tried to hard but the alternative was total isolation. Now with nothing left to try with, I could take no more so retreated. Hiding from the world I did not belong in, and could not cope with. I grappled with what had happened, asked myself what had I done that was so wrong. Were the belief and hopes I’d had, just another mood swing. This was how it was and how it would be forever.

Hello you, are you still reading does any of the above resonate with you? Is there no pleasure in your life and your head full of horrible thoughts, all hope and optimism long gone? If so please keep reading because your life can improve just like mine has.

So why didn’t my life stay like this, it had some advantages, I couldn’t get hurt anymore. Medication helped to ease the anxiety and panic but the depression and worthlessness still held a firm grip on me. It took time and a lot of patience from a couple of friends who always texted, phoned and visited me. They never judged me, always recognised and praised any small achievement like getting dressed or drawing the curtains. Eventually I was able see that they visited because they liked me and cared for me, and though I still felt unworthy it gave me some comfort and protection.

I was lucky with the Mental Health team, my care co-ordinator who had seen me deteriorate offered me a support worker. I’d never had a support worker before and did not know what to expect. What I got was someone that listened and understood. Together we shared many coffees and went shopping. I was reintroduced to my creative side when she took me to a local group where I weaved, sewed made papier mache but more importantly connected with people.

My desire to be close to nature was rekindled watching it, shaping it and I returned to voluntarily maintaining the Women’s Centre garden raking up all the leaves and planting bulbs. Once unable to cook I have now used every ring on the hob and nothing was burned.

If anyone had told me I would be writing this in those dark days last year I would not have believed them. Put simply the impossible became possible. I’ve become more involved with my Local Mind group and organise a social walking group for them. I applied for and accepted, a position on a Peer Support Worker training course which starts next week. If I pass the course and get on OK with the placements I will be able to apply for paid employment.

I’m still scared, but I’m walking again and I’m enjoying finding where this walk goes. I hope soon you too will be able to take those first steps and find a walk that is enjoyable and a life that has meaning and above all HOPE.

@CeinwenF

 

Here is a link to Ceinwen's blog