Dear Claire

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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

xxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

Love

Claire xxxxxx