Shadows, Ghosts and Apologies

I’m currently writing this from the comfort of my duvet. Right now, it’s the only place where I feel okay. However, to get that safety I have to pay a pretty hefty price: not seeing anyone, not living my life, not having fun, and just generally spiralling into a bigger hole of depression.

Right now I feel like I’m dying, in the sense that I’m losing everything I’ve ever cared about, and I feel that I can’t stop. I’m cancelling on friends, I’m in my 6th week of being signed off, I’ve had to put my course on hold, and it may sound dramatic, but nothing brings me much joy anymore, unless I force myself out. So the conundrum is, to force myself out of my bed but have a breakdown which consists of crying and sometimes screaming for about an hour but then perk up, or stay in bed happily, but then eventually reduce to a puddle of tears.

On top of the whole depression thing, my eczema has gone from non existent to severe. My legs, torso, arms, hands, neck and face have flared to the point of infection (hence the temperatures, chills, oozing and the smell of blood and ooze – pretty disgusting).

At the minute my life is on hold. I just want it to get going again.

The more depressed I’ve become the more I’ve cut back, and it hasn’t made me happy. I miss my friends a lot, but sometimes I just can’t send that reply, or meet up with them like I said I would. Depression involves a lot of loss. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ve lost enough for myself to claw my way back into the light.

love Claire


Dear Claire


Dear Claire,

I know your pretty low right now. I know your face is flaring, and you currently look like you’ve been burnt…a lot….but that’s okay. I know you feel lost. That’s okay. Some days you struggle more then others, that’s okay to.

You get lost trying the rescue and fix others, when the truth is, people have to rescue themselves. Like with you, no-one can do this but you. You can get help, yes, but it’s got to come from you. You’ve got to believe that you are good enough, that you deserve to live a good life and be happy.

Remember that person who went to university and had a breakdown. But the thing is Claire, it changed your life, that breakdown gave you a direction. Remember sitting at the computer crying, when you decided to watch Sesame Street, because since you were little you have loved everything that Jim Henson did? It was then that you decided that you wanted to help children who were struggling, even though you wanted to throw yourself out of the window? When someone is struggling like you were, it takes a special kind of person to want to help others. Even though it sucked, it changed your life for the better.

Remember, even though you were petrified and moderately depressed you were determined to go back to University because that is who you are? You wanted to make a better life for yourself, you wanted a degree, you wanted to prove to yourself that you were smart, regardless of what happened? Yeah. You did that. Remember when you were homeless? You found a way. Somehow, even though it was pretty awful, it got better, a lot better. You did that. No-one else. You made new friends, and you wrote a dissertation that you felt passionate about. When you were at University you weren’t stupid, you weren’t needy, you were you. You did things your way (including writing a neuroscience paper on literacy acquisition, when everybody else wrote a paper on the different learning methods). When you do things your way, it just works, i don;t know how or why, it just does.

Remember when you got into Tavistock? You were the youngest person on the course, bar one other person. Remember when people told you, you couldn’t hold down a job and fly over to London once a week? Well you did. Remember you were petrified about going to London? Now you love to visit, you feel that it’s your second home? You wouldn’t of dreamed that would happen, but it did Claire, it did. Remember when you moved to another job, that you had a bad feeling for? You ignored the feeling, and ultimately you left because that place was just awful, like really awful. You were unemployed for 7 months, but things worked out. You got your old job back, and you got to work with older children. Things worked out. It took a while, but you started to get into your flow, you began to teach the children, how you felt best, using props, movement and most of all a ton of fun, and it worked, Claire it worked. 3 and 4 year olds were telling their parents about orbiting, magnetic fields, and the planets in the solar system. Then you got bogged down.

You started to believe what one person said about you; that you were stuck up, that you were stupid, that your dad never wanted you, and you began to believe that you were the reason for the world’s problems and that you were a bad person. Claire, you don’t have a bad bone in your body. When people say horrible things, it’s more about them and their insecurities then it is about you, and you have a right to say that you don’t want to be around verbal abuse or physical violence, no matter what anyone says.

You began to try and counteract this negative self image by rescuing others, one person in particular, to try and get her to accept you, when in fact she became awful to you. Claire, the only person who you can rescue is you. It does you or anyone else no good when you sacrifice yourself for others, you become the victim to.

Claire. You have so much potential, it sounds corny but you can do whatever you want to, you’ve proven that over and over again. Even when things don’t work out, something better has always come along.

You got this



Rock Bottom

“When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change”

Well, where do i start.

For the last few months, it may sound strange to say, i have been losing small little pieces of myself; dressing in baggy t-shirts, losing a lot of weight (hello hip bones), not taking pride in my appearance, not sleeping, becoming scared to drive my car, becoming scared to leave the flat, and not being interested in N*Sync (whhhaaaaaaaaaaaaa!) or any other band for that matter.


Slowly but surely i lost more of myself, piece by piece, little by little. My skin started flaring on my face, my hands started flaring, i began to cry most days, and then about a month a go i began taking days off at work, one day a week. I tried to just get on with it, i really did, i’ve tried mediation, sitting with my feelings, getting out, nutritional therapies, eating right, psychotherapy, self-help books but nothing worked, and slowly but surely the hole i was in started to get deeper. There were times when i was in complete denial about how ill i was getting. The worst thing? I started believing what people had said about me months ago, and things that they were saying now, ‘bitch’, ‘it’s your fault’, ‘you think your so smart, but your an idiot’. I felt and still feel like a horrible person. Logically i know that i am not what people say, but emotionally i feel that i am a horrible person.

Last week, i was prescribed the dreaded anti-depressant, something which i’ve fought really hard not to be on, because to be honest, i feel worse on anti-depressants, as i lose the little bit of motivation i had. Anyway, i began to take them, and i feel awful about it. I keep having thoughts like ‘you’re such a failure claire’, ‘you’re not ill claire, get on with it’, ‘you’re letting yourself down’, ‘you’re pretty much useless right now’, ‘people are ill for real reasons’. On Monday, i cracked, i don’t know if it was the side effects of the pills, but i just couldn’t get out of bed. I rang work at 7.30 and i stammered as i said that i couldn’t come in. At 8am i rang the Dr’s surgery, and i’ll admit, that 3 minute phone call sucked, my appointment was at 9.30, and i had no idea if i could even get out of bed. My legs felt tired, my arms ached and i just wanted to snuggle under the duvet. I managed to slowly but surely get dressed, got into my car, and drove to the Dr’s surgery which was 5 minutes away, but it felt so much longer. Waiting sucked. I looked at my phone the whole time, wondering if people knew (looking at me, they probably did), i welled up a few times but held back. When i saw the Dr, we spoke about being signed off for a little while (a month), and staying on the tablets.

I feel like i’ve failed. i really do. The truth is, i feel lost, i don’t trust myself with anything or meeting anyone in case i start to cry or in case i say the wrong thing. I thank god that i have amazing friends who i can talk to, a boyfriend that accepts me like this, a sister who visits me pretty much everyday, and a friend who have been in a worse place then i am, but still managed to get her life back.

For me, the only way to get better is to do things that make to feel better e.g. watching a good movie, getting outside etc but at the same time you don’t have the energy to switch the dvd player on, you feel that you don’t deserve nice things, your scared to get outside. The world becomes this really scary place, even though you know where you live like that back of your hand, it becomes a really dark place, if that makes sense.


My life, for now is on hold. I have no idea what i’m going to do about the psychotherapy course, i have no idea what I am going to do about pretty much anything. I know i will get better, i just don’t know when, or how.


Claire xxxxxx

Why Everyone Deserves Love and Compassion, Including Yourself


I can be really mean to myself, like really mean. Some days when i come home from work, and the house is a mess, the voice in my head says ‘tidy the house, you lazy bitch’. Horrible right? If i’m feeling horrible and all i want is a duvet day, the voice will say something along the lines of ‘you’re such a lazy bitch’. Instead of letting others bully me, i bully myself, but the question is, if i am not productive for one day, why do i deserve to be called horrible names? The truth is, i don’t, it’s been programmed into me. It’s not just the housework, if i say something that sounds awkward, if i do anything wrong, if i have spots on my face, if my clothes don’t look right, if my skin is paler then normal, (i could go on and on) that bully voice comes back. The voice gets stronger if i’m anxious, depressed or just generally feeling crappy. The truth is though, i will never be perfect, i will always have flaws, and you know what? Those flaws make me who i am. I’m never going to please everyone, so i might as well please myself, whilst keeping others in mind. When i put myself first, it also allows me to be more loving and compassionate to others? If you’re like WHAAATTTTT, bear with me.


When you’re horrible to yourself and egging yourself to do something, it makes you feel worse, and the chances are, you won’t do it, and you will feel crappy for not doing the task that you feel you should. Berating yourself to try and do something, just doesn’t work. When you berate or put yourself down on a regular basis, you begin to neglect your needs (physical, mental, emotional etc) and ultimately you begin to rely on others to meet those needs. When you neglect your needs, you also begin to take things out on other people (whether knowingly or not), you may be extra sensitive for example. Then, you hate yourself even more for being grumpy and its just a whole crappy cycle. This is my downward spiral, and the only way for myself to break this cycle is to just stop, feel the feeling, and give myself love, compassion and acceptance. I’m a believer that there are no bad people in this world, only people who are hurting, who may or may not want help. I truly believe that this is one of my flaws, and i’m okay with that. By accepting myself, it allows me to accept others, and the more compassionate i am towards myself, the more compassionate i am to others; it’s weird how it works!

When i was really ill with depression, i said some hurtful things and pushed a lot of people away. But i did those things because i was hurting, and it what i said was more about how i was feeling about myself then how i felt about others. I am so grateful for the people who stuck around. Instead of berating myself for that time in my life, i now look back and i feel sorry for depressed Claire, how depressed Claire could not love or accept herself. I was lucky as i had amazing friends and family who loved and accepted me, when i couldn’t. There are times when i am depressed, but i know now that i have to try and give myself love, compassion and acceptance if i am ever to get out of these horrible periods. Love, compassion and acceptance is what everyone deserves.

Accepting myself and my flaws is something i will have to work on, and i will slip back into the cycle, but i will somehow get out of it. I have so many flaws, i sing a lot, i can be so messy, i can be moody, I LOVE NAPS, i like high fives, at times my skin can be covered in eczema, i’m a bit of a scatter brain and i could go on and on. Some people will accept me, and others won’t, but the most important thing is, that I accept me.






Depression – The Big Black Hole


So today, i have taken the day off work because of ‘depression’. My god i am getting so sick of that term and i hate saying it.

I’ve tried eating healthily, i’ve tried moderate exercise (walking the dog, yoga), i’ve had counselling and psychotherapy and CAT therapy, i’ve tried holistic medicine, i’ve tried normal medicine (anti depressants) and i’ve tried gene related supplements, i’ve joined Facebook groups but nothing seems to work. I’ve sat with depression, that worked temporarily, i research depression on Pubmed but nothing is working. I’m crying because i have no idea how I’m going to get out of this one. I’m scared to socialise, which i know is crazy because i have amazing friends, but I’m scared about what people think about me. I’ve been forcing myself into work and that helped but today i couldn’t do.

Today I cried whilst i crawled out of bed and forced myself out of my pyjamas and into clothes. I cried at Cinderella story the film. I cried when my mother spoke to me. I’m crying now.


I have no idea what to do. I know that anti depressants only cure the symptoms, and in the 7 years that i was on them, they didnt really help. I’ve made more progress off them then on them. With anti-depressants they numb you, they numb the highs and the lows. I don’t want to live like that, but i don’t know how to get out of this. Is this me forever? Will i have this forever?

Your body and your brain tell you to stay in bed, but to get out of it, you’ve got to ignore your body and your brain, but right now, i don’t think i can do that. The only person who can get you out of depression is yourself, but that is hard, especially when getting out of bed is a battle.

Some people say that depression is your friend. It tells you when you need to change your life, it makes you change your path. Right now that means stopping or giving up the whole psychotherapy thing, which is hard because it used to make me so happy, but now nothing really does, it’s just a numbness and all i can think about is when i can get back to bed.

I want to go back to work tomorrow, but i don’t know if i can. I just want to get well, and be in a place where i’m not depressed. I just want to give up on everything and lie in bed all day, but that won’t make me happy. When i have enough energy i will force myself out. I hope that this won’t be forever.


Love claire


I can make you hurt

The amount of power that we can unknowingly give to someone, power over your sense of self, can literally break you. Strong statement, but let me explain.

From when we are little, our sense of self is linked with others. Parents, teachers, friends telling you that you did a good job, or giving you positive attention. Ultimately what happens is that you absorb these positive experiences, and you begin to develop a positive sense of self. But what happens if what you thought were positive interactions were actually. at times, pretty traumatic. What you can do for someone else, and how you can please others becomes a desperate attempt at being worthy for this world.

Ultimately, i have this whole sense of self thing wrong. I base my sense of self on others opinions of me, particularly my mothers, and this year, and throughout my life it hasn’t exactly helped me in life. It’s hard to write about, but ultimately it is something i have to come to terms with.

This week, has been pretty crappy. Like not leaving my bed crappy. Today was the first day where i got up, made a proper breakfast for myself, got dressed and did some house work. I  am so proud of myself, but for the person who i have unfortunately given my sense of self to (which i am trying to get back), it’s not enough. For her, i am the problem, or at least i feel that i am the reason for her problem. Today, she told me that the man who has verbally assaulted me numerous times (we’re on 3/4 i think), and who tried to physically assault me, was going to drop a plant around (seriously love get your own damn plant). I’ll be honest, even though i shouldn’t be, i am petrified of this man. Even though mum has witnessed these conversations, and the altercation, and we both know that i have never sworn or assaulted him, even though i have raised my voice (i know i’m far from perfect), she still blames me. There is the horrible comment here or there, ‘you deserved….’then stopping mid sentence, ‘i am so unhappy because you won’t let me be with him’ and the newest one, as my brother told me ‘i’ll have a stroke because i’m so unhappy because you 3 won’t let me see him’. Can i just say, i have said numerous times that she is her own person, and can do whatever she wants, but that i do not want to see that man, as frankly i don’t deserve that crap. So 10 minutes before he arrives she tells me, i say okay, and she mumbles something under her breath (probably something along the lines of it’s my house etc), it makes me so mad. As the cars go past the house, i listen intently waiting for this car, i don’t want them to, but my hands are shaking. I have told her, how i feel, but to her it doesn’t matter, i wish i could say her feelings don’t matter to me. He pulls the car round, and i hide in the garden, as i refuse to go in and hide (but my brain thinks hiding outside is a bit better!). He stays for around 20 minutes, but it feels so much longer. I also don’t understand why she couldn’t of picked up the fucking plant herself!

I don’t understand how a mother can do this. I don’t understand how a mother can guilt trip you. I don’t understand why a mother would be so vile to her children, then expect them to be okay. No i’m not doing it. I am so fed up of this woman. I am fed up of how she treats me, i am fed up of her tantrums, I am fed up of how she treats other people, i am fed up of how she talks about other people. I am fed up of her. She lies excessively, she makes you feel that you owe her your life because she raised you, she blames you for things that you weren’t even there for, i could go on and on and on. It’s just bull shit. Absolute bull shit. It’s not right. She has a lot of issues, but ones i have stopped trying to fix. I used to think she was everything, now i realise that actually, she’s not. I’ve tried to make her happy, i’ve tried a lot, but i will never make her accept me, she will never pay attention to who i am, she will always criticise, and frankly my opinion of her, particularly today is at rock bottom, and i am allowed that opinion. But i also think that even though she is pretty mean, she must of had a similar experience, and not been valued as a child (hello psychotherapist training!).


So how do i cope with this? Realise that actually i am enough and i am doing the best i can. I work hard, i care, i accept and i love. During a panic attack she said that i was too sensitive, but i’m okay with that. That’s who i am, and if she can’t accept it that’s fine, and if i am the reason behind her problems, then that’s fine to, as soon as i can, i won’t be in her life.




Claire xxxxx

Depression lies


So i got up today, got dressed, had breakfast, then went back to bed. Yesterday i had a banana for breakfast, today i had banana on toast – hey it’s progress! Right now i am trying to celebrate the small steps, and i am hoping they will eventually grow into big ones. If i congratulate myself on small steps, then maybe i can eventually see myself as someone who is good enough, regardless of what people think or what things i can do. I am trying to be compassionate with myself, as frankly right now being horrible to myself about not doing anything won’t really help.

So as I was lying in bed this morning i was thinking (my brain doesn’t stop) depression lies  to you a lot! It is not your friend, it is not encouraging you, it is not egging you on to be a better person (as you already are a good person), if depression were an actual person it would be Donald Trump; someone who lies, then spins the lie to suit the situation. For me it tells me things like ‘you don’t deserve to eat’, ‘you’re failing right now’, ‘everybody knows your a lie’, ‘you’re not as smart as you think you are’, ‘you don’t deserve love’, but these statements are lies, not truths. Your thoughts aren’t necessarily right or truthful, they are thoughts, that’s it, thought’s. The problem is though, thoughts turn into beliefs, and then you begin to find reasons to reinforce these false beliefs about yourself, and before you know it your in bed crying your eyes out. The crazy thing is though, these thoughts have so much power. Like a false promise, you begin to change your life because of these thoughts e.g. by not going for a new job and feeling helpless. You then begin to lose yourself.

One thing i really miss, it may sound silly, but my brain. I miss being able to think clearly, i miss being able to read and focus on what i am reading, i miss being able to just think clearly and logically. But most of all, i miss myself. But myself wasn’t good enough for depression and now i am in this hole trying to get out of it, but i will. I’ve admitted that i am ill, and for me, now that i’ve accepted it, I can move forward and maybe in the future accept myself. I just want to give and look after other people, when in fact right now i need to be selfish as hell. Depression has actually taught me a lot, the amount of pressure i put on myself actually results in me doing nothing, being selfish (by this i mean looking after your emotional, mental and physical health) means that you can be more compassionate to others. I have also learnt about mindfulness, and the need to live in the present, rather then the future ( because you want to escape from the present).




Depression – back with a vengeance

Right now, i am sat in my bedroom, either looking at the computer screen or looking out the window. I am off work for two days. I should be happy. But i’m not. I can’t stop crying. I’m tired and i feel like crap, physically and as a person. To tell you the truth, i have no idea  how this happened, but i lie, i think i do:

Physically (I research a lot) – I think a particular gene has gone into overdrive and i don’t have the right diet to compensate it. but i am trying. I am researching myself my genetics, as i can’t afford outside help. I’ve healed myself once, i can heal myself again.

Financially – I currently have 50 pounds to my name. No savings. no nothing. I can’t afford make up, i can’t afford moisturiser, I can’t afford to get a hair cut, i can just afford to go back to the drs.

Mental stress  – At work i feel like a failure. An absolute failure. I’m trying, I really am.

Emotional stress – I just want to run to my mum, who should tell me that it will be okay. But instead i feel that i have to lie. The sick days i’ve had off, i lied and told her that i was off on holiday. I keep as much distance as i can, i have to. I will not be pulled into a game of love and verbal abuse, it’s not worth it.

I went to the dr recently, and we discussed me carrying on working, even if i am doing a crap job and staying off the pills. Even though i don’t want to be someone who is on antidepressants for the rest of their life, i’m starting to think that maybe i am destined to be.

The fact is though I had dreams and goals. My current goals are to get out of bed every day. I thought i would be a psychotherapist, a person who had a career, who could afford things but right now i feel like my life is falling apart. I’m going to cut back on all but 1 module, and see how that goes. The truth is, i don’t want to be on this earth, feeling like this anymore, but i have to, suicide just passes the pain on to others, and frankly the statistics show that most people survive, and those who do have sometimes irreversible health problems (liver problems etc).

One positive note? I have some amazing people around me who whether i want to believe it or not love and care for me dearly. I am so sorry if i cancel meetings or appointments with you, just please know that right now, i am struggling to get through the day, let alone see anyone. This isn’t anything to do with any of you, it’s to do with me and i understand if you want to cut ties with me.

Thank you for reading.


The Day the World Wept.

What happened in France was a despicable act of cowardice and hate disguised in a cloak of religion. It had nothing to do with the current migrant crisis, those of whom who are trying to escape acts like this, often leaving with just the clothes on the back. These acts are happening across the world, but the media is only reporting on the attacks that are close to home. Friday 13th November was a horrible day for humanity, there were terrorist attacks and earthquakes. The scary thing is, inidividually we can not stop these attacks from happening, but what we can do is accept those who are different, accept diversity, don’t laugh at those or berate those who are different.

Aside from the terrorist attacks we have a government who is selling out it’s citizens for capital and austerity; increasing tax, creating new taxes, taking financial support away from those who need it. ‘But we have a black hole’, you might say ‘Those are the people who refuse to work’, ‘the migrants are taking our jobs’  are the statements that I have heard, time and time again. Ultimately, if you help the poorest of the poor, they will grow, develop and eventually contribute to the economy, same with migrants, and yes there are statistics to support this. Yes there are going to be people who want to stay on benefits, but theses are few and far between. To me it is revolting that the government is choosing capital over the people who voted for them.

Wait it gets worse. Endangered species, Forest Fires, global warming, I could go on and on. At the minute, to me, it feels like the world is destroying itself for money and religion. The government and the big corporations, and the individual man is securing the world to it’s demise. In situations like these, there is one thing that you will always see, people helping, people being compassionate, people helping others. Empathy and compassion is at the heart of what humans are about. If we lose compassion, place a money (a man made idea) above others then this world has really gone to hell and we have lost who we are. If we are going to stop this demise, we are going to have to help others, show compassion, show love, and ultimately let the migrants in.

No i’m not perfect, but i’m going to accept others, appreciate difference, and help others. That’s the least we can do to secure our children’s futures.

Losing who you are

Well. Where do i begin? I have no idea.

I hate how a stupid pill can change your personality. I’ve changed from 30 to 20mg as frankly, I’ve had enough of those things.

Even though I’m coming to terms with things, its made me questions myself yet again, like everything does.

In a sea of TSW, anxiety, family issues, work issues etc etc i seem to have turned into this horrible narcisstic person, who will happily sell anyone down the river. But that is not who i am. Well then what happened? I have no idea.

I came to the conclusion this week, that Mum will never take care of me. She will never be the person who i want her to be. Which is fine, but that still leaves a hole. I want to be taken care of, ‘fine i will look after myself’ i said. Instead of fighting everything, to just accept things. But the only problem with that is, instead of looking for a mother figure, or being a mother figure, i’ve just been looking after myself. Not thinking of anything else. I’m so driven to try and prove myself that i forget other people. I forget who i am, i forget everything except academically or financially being someone that people are proud of. I just forget the other stuff.

I don’t want to be this person. I want to be proud with who i am, i want to accept myself, but theres a problem when your self esteem is entwined with your mums and dads. 2 people of which you can never please, who will probably never give you what you need.

Right now, i hate people. That’s the truth. Behind every face is someone who is going to be a dick to me. I trusted that dr, and i allowed that dr to make me feel worthless and insignificant. People who i view as ‘above me’ are jerks. They put me down, but i want their approval, and i will do anything for it. I don’t understand why i can’t be happy as i am. I hate these stupid pills.I hate stupid narcissistic me.

I feel like i’ve got to encompass everything. Encompass all these traits. Be nice, but assertive, be confident but humble etc etc I’m sick of trying to be these different things. What’s wrong with the nice me? Well you get stepped over and no-one appreciates nice people, and that is the truth. Nice people do finish last.

The sad thing is, i miss being able to me. I miss being caring etc but the problem is i can’t as certain people take advantage, and then i feel worse.

I’m meant to be all these different attributes, let people in, but be defensive, protect myself. I can’t do it anymore. Mum and dad have hurt me to the core. I have given everything to each of them and it’s either been thrown back in my face, or abused time and time again. Honestly, i need to get out of this house, this isn’t healthy. I’m turning into someone i hate.

I want to do counselling, but not like this, not being the person i am.