Another Baby.

‘Do you think it is about time we start trying for another baby?’

 

 
The gap between this sentence and the last, is appropriately proportionate to the gap I left before answering the question.

I have gotten used to huge gaps since the last time I had a baby.

Huge gaps in memory.

Huge gaps in conversation where I have been completely distracted by my three year old showing a man in the post office his willy and nuggets.

 

And lest us forget, huge gaps in my anatomy too.

 

I stop walking.

My brain goes in to panic mode.

Alarms, sirens, bells, whistles, actual sympathy pain in my vaginal area.

He is casually checking the price on a huge box of Frosties.

Addison meanwhile is attempting to climb up the shelving unit making a beeline for the jelly.

‘The child, the child! Stop the child!’

He whips his head around just as an avalanche of Rowntrees cascades to the floor and our son lets out a banshee wail.

‘Why didn’t you stop him?’ The Irish one shouts flustered grabbing one trainered foot of our three year old and dragging him out from beneath the foray. ‘You were doing nothing!’

Doing nothing?

‘I was in labour again!’ I want to shout.

I was up at 3am counting out formula scoops, searching for my sanity under 40 million Muslin cloths, sponging off dried baby vomit with a sponge smelling suspiciously like arse.

I was prodding my empty bump and hoisting my boobs off the floor so i could pick the scabs off my nipples and consider letting the baby chew on them again.

I was back feeling guilty about wanting to walk away from it all.

I was god damn wetting my knickers in front of my mother in law because I accidentally had the indecency to sneeze!

I was trying to erect a pram the size of Albania, made entirely from unbendable and unforgiving finger size catch holes, while also single handedly burping a colicy baby, leaving wet patches on the front of my tent top and trying to hold a conversation with my next door neighbour who was wondering if we could keep the baby from crying at 4am as he was obviously trying to sleep.

I was losing pretty much all of the skin off my fingers strapping him in to the car seat, only before having to immediately unstrap him, as he unceremoniously shit up to his neck.

I was wiping yellow chutney like poop off my eyebrow and inadvertently smearing it inside, yes INSIDE, my mouth.

I was skint! I was back searching through the grit under the sofa haphazardly hopeful that I would find a single pound coin I could spend all on myself. A whole pound just for me!

I was running back and forth between bedrooms in a blur of ill mental health, to check the child had not been stolen by Ant and Dec.

I was unsuccessfully trying to squeeze myself back in to my pre pregnancy jeans, my legs turning blue from the lack of oxygen, my muffin top receiving offers of advertising slogans from Gregg’s the Bakers.

I was turning down very generous offers of sex off the Irish one, using a spade and a body bag, to succinctly get my point across.

I was trying to sit comfortably with 18 stitches holding my undercarriage and bum hole together while also smiling and offering the house guests all of my precious biscuits.

I was holding my child in my arms and waiting to feel the overwhelming love everybody told me I would most definitely feel immediately.

I was back being sectioned for Post Natal Depression.

I was falling asleep standing up bouncing my head off kitchen counters.

I was spooning coffee directly in to my mouth in the slight hope it had the same texture and taste as a long, uninterrupted sleep.

I was holding his bottom cheeks apart to help him pass wind (the baby, not the Irish One) massaging his chest and crying in to my snot covered onesie.

I was listening to the tumble drier.

I was searching for my sanity.

 

Doing nothing?

Another huge gap.

‘You ok?’ he approaches me warily.

Addison is back in the trolley, a plastic straw wedged in his sticky mouth, singing the Go Compare advert, at the top of his lungs.

I would really need to learn some nursery rhymes this time around, IF we were gonna do it.

If I could just give birth to a two year old I may consider it. (Lets be honest here, I have the gap to manage it!)

I adore Addison now.

I adore him.

He is my entire world.

But new born babies?

I find them so dull.

Do you realise they can’t even sit up?
‘You want to try for another baby?’ I shriek a little louder than first intended.

He pauses.

 

A teeny tiny gap.

A man gap if you will.

‘Well, not here in the cereal aisle at Morrisons OBVS,’ he jokes. (HE JOKES! HOW CAN HE JOKE AT A TIME LIKE THIS?) ‘I think we should at least probably wait until we get home.’

It’s not funny.

I didn’t laugh.

I have imposed a sex ban.

Oh drive me to hell on a unicycle.

The conversation is coming, and I don’t know what I want!

Selfish Selfish Suicide.

I think if I was ever to end up topping myself, mothers day would definitely be the day that pushed me over the edge.

‘Oh how selfish!’ the people that live around here (and have all the sensitivity of dog poo,) shout on a regular basis. ‘You mean she has killed herself? In rush hour traffic? Her poor family! Another one to jump off that damn bridge. The poor people trying to get home who are all now stuck in traffic too! How selfish of her. What a selfish way to die!! So Cowardly.’

Sometimes I walk away from these conversations desperate to turn around and pummel their closed minded faces in to mulch, such is my instability.

At other times, when I do have the stability, I do jump in, verbal fists flying.

How could I ever possibly consider the fact suicide is not selfish?

Because it isn’t.

Simple.

Do you honestly think that the Father stood at the very top and at the very edge of a 60 foot bridge, the high winds cutting in to his face, the dark night biting at his nose and ears, the tail wind of the cars zooming past behind him at 60 miles an hour, the distant sound of the freezing cold water below him, the twinkle of lights from far below, from the warm houses, as people settle down to have their tea, the feeling as with numb fingers he starts to let go of the handrail, to face his fall…

Or the Sister, sat on her unmade bed, the contents of a hidden stash of medication in a heap in front of her on the un-ironed bed sheet, heart hammering, glass of water at the ready, lips dry, hands shaking, counting and meticulously re counting, before grabbing hold of one capsule between her thumb and forefinger and gently but determinedly raising it to her lips…

Or the Son, the son who has researched on the internet, who has practised tying the noose knot four times but who still isn’t sure if it is tied just right to break his neck quickly, the son who climes up on to the bedside table and ducks his head in to it, taking a deep breath and …

Ceasing to exist.

The only option left.

You think those people are selfish?

You think their souls aren’t screaming out in anguish?

You think they aren’t scared?

You still think Mental Illness is a choice?

You don’t think they have tried a million fixes before this?

The feeling of plummeting in to nothing, the excruciating damage as your internal organs die, the harsh and unforgiving crack as you hear your own neck breaking, you think these are selfish choices made by ‘cowardly’ people?

How vile, dark and guilt ridden, how unbelievably sad and torturous must it be inside the head of the person considering something as terrifying as suicide, as their only escape?

You think the people who jumped off the 110th floor of the World Trade Centre’s weren’t frightened when they jumped?

Of course they were, you say.

But that’s different.

They had no choice.

Are you sure it is different?

They were forced to make a choice.

Burn to death or take a chance and jump, possibly to freedom.

What if the suicidal person wasn’t selfish, but duped by illness, in to believing they only had the same options?

Mothers day is the day I personally feel as if I am burning to death.

Irrational anger, sadness in buckets, shouting so loud coming from inside my head, I can barely hear myself think, guilt that bites chunks from my heart, chunks quickly replaced with self despising and cruel words of criticism, failure on a scale so big each time I blink, I cringe and wish for escape. Loneliness, isolation, a feeling of it never being over, or worth this much pain. Hopelessness, anger again, guilt at being pathetic, the shouting in my head, abandonment, grief, loss. Self hatred. Urge after urge to injure myself.

I suffer with Clinical Depression, I am lucky that it is only as dark as this, for 1 day a year.

I still have to sit and smile, eat and laugh, work and play toy cars, I still have to function, still feel embarrassed by asking for help when I should be so damn grateful.

I still have to be.

And then the day ends.

And I can crawl in to bed, exhausted and debilitated, under close observation, about to take a safe dose, of a tablet to help me sleep.

If I could get my hands on the whole bottle, I genuinely wouldn’t hesitate today, but the Irish One has learnt his lesson, and is stingy with his medication giving.

And caring.

If I felt this way everyday, and didn’t feel I could ask for help, or was telling myself I should just be able to get a grip, was struggling silently, I can easily tell you, I would have been ‘selfish’ (again) by now too.

Suicide is not selfish.

Nor is it cowardly.

Unless of course, the most important thing to you is not getting stuck in traffic.

And you have completely missed the point of being human.

Then yeah, I could totally see why you would think that way.

But that’s just my opinion.

Happy Mothers day.

A squirrel was after my nuts.

You know those globs of mascara that ominously appear in your eye triangle (you know the bit I mean right? I don’t know the actual medical term for eye triangle but you follow me right?)

Yeahhh you do.

No?

SO.

You put your make up on slowly and with great care, it takes ages and because of this maximised effort you think you look phenomenal.

While you continue to get ready to leave the house, you consistently return to the mirror a total of you 86 times, just to check it hasn’t slidden (slod? Slodden? What is the past tense of slide?) off your face while you were looking for your keys.

It hasn’t.

Today is a perfect make up day.

Winner.

You leave the house.

You get in the car.

The sun blinds you momentarily, so like hundreds of human beings before you, and no doubt as millions will after you, you take the appropriate course of action.

You blink.

Just like the other 74 thousand times you blinked post make up application.

This time was different though, but you don’t realise that.

So on you go on your merry way.

5 hours later, after a truly awkward business happening, you nip to the loo, only to catch sight of yourself in the harsh strip lit,  but horrifically clear bathroom mirror.

There are blobs.

Blobs so big Athlete could have written a song about them.

Big eye triangle blobs, akin to coal coloured sleep, protruding self righteously from the corners of your eyes.

The most humiliating thing of course, is that you thought you looked a million dollars and so have behaved as such, and yet, even though you saw at least four of your ‘friends’ on route, no bastard thought to mention to you, that you look like Adam Ant and you had better go sort your shit out.

You know what I mean now?

Well anyway.

I am pretty sure that each and every time I have a conversation with someone I need to impress, my mascara joins forces with those rogue white corner mouth sweat bits and no matter how much effort I have put in to looking like a goddess, I end up looking like a swamp tramp.

It’s not just my face that lets me down either.

It’s my ability to act like a normal human being. (Have you seen my wedding photos?)

‘What’s that on your arm?’

I blink lots and smile a little manically.

The mascara begins to clump and there is a bogey in my nose making it’s way down to say hello too, I can feel it. (Because why not? The bogey seems to jump around saying. The other two are at the party, why not a bit of snot to lighten the mood?)

Meanwhile I am silent and awkward, running through a list of possible responses.

‘I was playing violin with a carving knife?’

‘Next door’s cat is Wolverine?’

‘I got my wrist caught in a fishing net and unfortunately the fisherman had not kept his nets in regulation condition and so therefore I was tangled for quite sometime, causing some quite painful discomfort to my lower arm area?’

‘My husband tried to murder me with a pogo stick so I sliced my own arm off in a bid to use it as a weapon against him?’

Out of all the emotions I would usually struggle through in a day, coping with this god awful illness, it absolutely has to be said, that embarrassment is by far the worst.

As I sit here tonight in my Wonder Woman pyjamas (the shorts are blue by the way, they are ace! They look especially brilliant when I have had a drink and am running around the shared garden, in slow motion, OBVS, to the theme of the million dollar man.) I am feeling anything but wonderful.

In fact.

One may say, as I sit here burying my head under the sofa cushion, my not so wonder woman arse stuck up in the air, such is my need to hide my face right now, that I am ruminating.

I know normal is overrated but come on universe! Throw me a bone here!

Rumination.

They taught me about Rumination during my holiday in the mental hospital.

It was specifically brought up and discussed for my benefit.

Unfortunately however, it was brought up during the group session where one of the other inmates was trying to get my attention by piling tissue paper on my head and giving me repeated and most definitely unwanted wet willy’s. (Wet finger in the ear. – stop being dirty.)

Unsurprisingly I wasn’t paying much attention.

Rumination is defined as the compulsively focused attention on the symptoms of one’s distress, and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions.

Now, I totally get it.

‘I had an argument with a huge dog, but I am ok, the dog is worse off. It didn’t need to be put down, but I am fine now, so lets move on….’

‘Oh that cut on my arm? Shark bite. Great White actually… yeah. I was diving in the barrier reef on my lunch. So what time are we starting as I need to take my flippers off.’

Rumination is similar to worry except rumination focuses on bad feelings and experiences from the past, whereas worry is concerned with potential bad events in the future.

‘Pardon? Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that?’

‘I asked what have you done to your arm?’

The room is quiet.

I now have the attention of four important people.

I had hidden my arm too by the way, but like a complete numpty, had got warm when I saw them coming and of course, had pushed my sleeves up without thinking.

I should have just said I didn’t know how it had happened and moved the subject swiftly on.

Rumination. (To be sung to the theme tune of ‘Imaginaaatiiionnn’ from here on in.)

I shouldn’t have been wearing that skirt, it was too short.

Ruminaaaaaaation.

I shouldn’t have posed like an idiot for the photo.

I should have just acted normal and smiled.

I should just be quiet.

Ruminaaaaaaation.

I should just stop talking.

Why why why why am I such an ugly fat fantastical failure at everything I do.

Everyone thinks I am a twat.

Oh god what have I done.

Ruminaaaaaaation.

I need damage control.

There is no damage control.

Why is my mascara turning against me?

‘I have mental health issues and am currently experiencing feelings akin to suicidal thoughts. Except I don’t want to die. I want to cease to exist. To stop feeling. I cut myself with anything I can get my hands on as it dims the feelings of taking an overdose. If I die my husband will take my son to Ireland. I don’t want him to grow up more than 5 miles away from a Starbucks. It’s all costa in Ireland. SO. I can’t die, you see. I must live on.’

Nope.

Oh no.

No I didn’t.

Oh dear god.

No I didn’t.

He is stammering and looking awkward.

This has not started well.

And it did not improve much from there either.

But hey! At least I was honest right?

I am flying the flag for mental illness?

Oh I am so embarrassed.

Ruminaaaaaaation.

Not the best start to an interview. 

And also?

I pouted on the photo they took to go with my CV.

Ruminaaaaaaation.

Why oh why am I such a prick?

You wanna know what I look like when I pout?

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 23.07.27

 

I look like I am having a stroke don’t I?

Today can just shit off!

The Death Talk.

‘Mummy?’

I am barely awake.

In fact, hang on, Im not even awake.

This has to be a dream.

‘Mummy?’

No.

Oh hell no.

I am not a mummy.

I am a goddess.

I am only 24.

I was out all night ‘owning the night.’

‘Mummy.’

I don’t have a kid.

No this isn’t happening.

I am not being poked in the head with a bum smelling mini finger.

‘Mummy Wake up.’

This isn’t real.

Sweaty bodies stuffed up against huge speakers, the bass pounding our legs in to movement, part of a mass crowd moving as one, blonde hair, blue eyes, head thrown back letting go, hands in the air cos I didn’t care, taut tight stomach muscles, bare thighs, standing in the toilet queue gurning, chatting incessantly, spraying my hair, loving the blackness of my eyes, friends swapping hidden envelopes, cab rides to the chill out, the frosty morning air, the gentle smoke from my cigarette rising in the morning air as we stumbled for the front door, the love, the belonging, our house, our rules, what a blinding night…

‘Mummy?’

Oh jesus.

I do have a kid.

It’s Addison.

…. Which probably means I wasn’t out all night at all, but more likely danced in the kitchen on my own, with my headphones on and a bottle glass of wine, until before 10pm.

And… then I probably passed out on the sofa.

My stomach is not taut, it is pouchy and destroyed.

‘Mummy?’

My head is pounding.

I was not up all night spinning and feeling stunning, sending the boys crazy,  I was in fact, dribbling on a SpongeBob SquarePants cushion and stinking the place out with my Wine sweat and mother trumps.

I am a lightweight.

EST:2010.

‘Hey baby.’ I force a smile at my son and nearly gag on my own breath.

Today is going to be a long day.

But maybe the god’s of ‘I’m never drinking again on a school night ever’ will be shining down on me.

Maybe he will play nice and quietly while I watch from a comatose corner.

Oh god, I think I need to vomit up a lung.

‘Mummy, when Uncle Jakey died, did we flush him down the toilet?’

There.

Are.

No.

Words.

But I need to find some.

‘No baby.’ I struggle from behind my (what should have been a mild- I had 1 glass!!!) hangover ‘We didn’t flush your uncle down the toilet.’

‘Why not?’

I rub at my eyes.

It is too early for the Death talk, and besides, I will have all of this at therapy later.

Once a day is enough.

‘Because we didn’t.’

The Irish one arrives back in the bedroom fully dressed smelling fresh and looking, I have to say, a little smug, to be leaving for work.

He leans in to kiss me goodbye, almost gagging but managing to hide it quite well, kisses addy on the head and then thunders back down the stairs berating me on my night time endeavours, before the room stops swinging.

I swear I only had 1 glass!

‘But Mummy, we flush the fish down the toilet, why not Uncle Jakey?’  Addison whines.

‘Because he would have got stuck in the U-Bend!!!’  the Irish One helpfully shouts from downstairs, before slamming the door behind him and leaving on his merry travels ‘Have a great day you two!’

I sigh and reach out for my glasses, which of course are not there.

‘Mummy?’

Yes Addison.

‘What’s a U bend?’

I am going to kill the Irish One.

No more dancing in the kitchen.

… And where the HELL are my glasses?

But hey!

At least that’s that subject covered!

*Sigh.

Electric Shock Therapy.

Where do I even begin?

I am considering Electric Shock Therapy.

They haven’t suggested this again.

No, on the contrary.

They, seem to think I am handling this latest turn of events quite well.

But lets put Them to one side for now.

Them, with their voice free heads, silent nights and Mindfulness.

No, It is I, and I alone, who is now considering jamming a chunky finger in to a plug hole, just for kicks.

Electric Shock Therapy DIY.

They could write a show on it.

Britain’s Best Brain bake off’s.

Because really, how much worse could evening television get?

I want a seizure.

I want to see if it helps again.

Changes anything.

‘If you want to sit in the corner and rock while we talk about this Lexy, you can you know.’

And besides, Ive always fancied a perm.

Wait… What?

Sit in a corner and bloody rock?

Is there a socket big enough anywhere, for me to just have a bath, and climb in to?

A full body shock maybe.

I should market this idea.

I do not sit in corners and freaking ‘rock’. (Unless spongebob is on anyway…)

I ignore the voices I hear a million times a day, deflect the commands telling me to give up, blink away the visions of him everywhere, walk away from arguments about choices, smile through the suffering, laugh, joke about killing myself with a 250 voltage plug, live. I live.

I fight.

I dust myself off and get up.

Not because I want to, but, because I have to.

I come across normal… Or at least I think i do.

I do not rock in corners.

Wait… Is that where I am going wrong?

Should I be rocking in a corner?

Will that help?

‘Are you ready?’

Is there a plug socket in that corner?

‘So let us begin.’

I watched every second on that damn clock drag by, I deflected bullet after bullet, protected wound after wound, swallowed a hundred thousand memories and an ocean of pain.

But I got through the first session.

Without rocking.

‘Can you bring some photos in next time Lexy?’

No James I can’t.

I won’t.

‘I want to know more.’

I have told you. Fuck off.

‘You have told me you had a brother, how he died, how you felt.. but not about him. I know nothing about him. I want to know who he was. What he looked like, your memories of him alive. You stick to edges. I want filling. Who was this man to you?’

If I wet my hands before I ram three fingers in to the socket, do you think that would quicken the end result?

‘Do you feel like you have worked today?’ He looks up at me through long eyelashes.

Jesus Yes.

‘No.’

I will not let you in.

I cannot remember who he was.

He died.

I only remember how.

I will not do this.

‘Can I have Electric Shock Therapy?’

‘No.’

Dammit.

‘Have you grieved do you think?’

If I straighten my hair before I do it, do you think I could avoid the inevitable frizz and instead be left with Wedding like hair?

I will not freaking do this.

Seven years in, seven long years in, and I think, I think, I just hit Denial.

I need a forced seizure to escape this. 

Just one last one?

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 22.28.48

I better take the battery out of the smoke alarm.

*Therapy is not fun and Mental Illness is not a choice. Grief has no time constraints (Apparently) and we should not feel we should be ‘over it’, just because society got bored of listening. Do not be fooled by time. It may heal wounds but the scars remain the same.

*I am a Judge in the MAD blog awards this year. If I have curly hair on the night, you will know the DIY EST didn’t work out and I am still here fighting the long fight.. Feel free to ask me about my dead brother though and we can go rock in a corner somewhere, together.

Hashtag; Good times.

A ‘Peace’ of my Mind.

I need a glass of wine.

My son just stuck his finger up my nose, and sneezed.

I feel like my eyeball may have actually popped out of it’s socket for a moment or two there.

Basically, I was enjoying telling him a bedtime story, and now I am blind.

I think he may have dented my brain.

I am typing this and my eyes are still streaming.

It all happened so quickly, one minute he is stroking my face, the next he is violently fingering my eyeball.

Im going to end up with Home and Away eyes now aren’t I?

I swear I can now see a panoramic view of the bedroom, facing forwards.

Just another day in paradise, another toddler related injury to add to the scroll.

With hindsight, (or no sight) I should have probably bought that night time cage Katie Hopkins suggests, instead of a toddler bed.

Or maybe I should invest in a fencing suit for story time.

Anyway.

What I was originally going to write about this evening, was actually Bedtime, (Capital B signalling his bedtime, not mine) and I have a question for you all, if you don’t mind.

Bedtime.

Usually the only time of the day my mind is at peace.

We play the bedtime story game.

He gives me three words (this evening I was presented with, Duck, Toilet and Doobeedo) and then my job is to make a story up out of them.

It keeps my mind occupied (which is not an easy feat, so I love it) and usually I manage to make him laugh, which is my favourite sound in the whole god damn world.

Winner winner gin for Dinner.

Aces potato.

(‘Doobeedoo’, by the way, is now the name of a small red Digger, who sadly, couldn’t find a toilet big enough to accommodate all of his poo, so he went in search of a friend to help him build the biggest toilet in the world. Incidentally in case you are wondering, he found Jesus the Duck (Pronounced Hesus obviously), who agreed to help him and much poo related hilarity ensued. (there are some benefits to having psychosis, and what is it with boys and poo?) until, sadly it all came to a bloody end, when i was bludgeoned with a stinky finger unexpectedly.)

On average a standard human being (and by standard I mean one that hasn’t just had their face violated by a three year old hooligan) will have 50 thousand thoughts a day.

Yeah.

Fifty thousand thoughts a day.

Thoughts ranging, I imagine, from ‘Oh crap it’s Morning!’

All the way through to ‘No, I couldn’t kill the Irish One with a spade, cos if it bent what would i use to dig the hole?’

No?

No.

*uncomfortable silence.*

Me either.

Lets move on.

So 50k,  that’s a well adjusted individual.

What about an anxious or manically depressed human being?

Or one who has recently had their nasal ducts disrespected?

100 thousand thoughts a day.

Yup.

Always wanting to be over achievers (love us, please just love us, we can be the best) people like us, we double it.

100 thousand thoughts a day.

Is it any wonder we are anxious?

And then, I am basically thinking (of course I am) you must be able to add another 50 thousand per toddler.

Cos you basically have to think for them right?

‘No Addison, it is not nice to be elbow deep in mummy’s face, and yes, I know my nose is hairy. No. I do not know why.’

So again, no wonder we are manic right?

The Priory kindly provided me with a pamphlet today, entitled ‘getting to know your mind.’

I found it mildly irritating.

I mean.

I already know I am a head fuck.

I need help dudes.

Not confirmation.

‘Automatic thoughts do not occur in sentences, but may just be a few words or an image. You may be in a social situation, and your thoughts begin to rush with seemingly random and unwanted commands.’ 

No shit.

‘Hi Lexy.’  – Normal Person. 

‘Hi.’ – Me. 

‘DANCING PENGUINS, WORLD WAR 3, NAKEDNESS ON A SHIP, CAKE, CAKE, CAKE. CAKE. CAKE. I MUST HAVE CAKE NOW. WINE. CAKE. GIN. WINE. CAKE. A HIPPO’S ANUS!’ SPANISH NEW YEAR, JESUS IN A THONG! NAKEDNESS!!!’ – My mind. 

‘Fleherbaherb?’ – Me.

‘Sometimes they are not thoughts at all, but memories’

That’s the funniest thing I have heard in ages!!’ - Me. 

‘I love it. Hahahahahahaha’Sexy Normal Person. 

‘Hahahahahaha’ - Me

‘THE LAST THING YOU EVER SAID TO YOUR BROTHER WAS ‘YOU’RE A CUNT.’’ - My mind. 

‘Excuse me for a moment.’ – Me.

‘They are not logical.’

Anxiety.

Ruining my life, social situation by social situation.

Forced Therapy.

Making me dread thursdays with a passion.

My mind.

Sending me round the bend.

How did I sound in that conversation? Like a complete idiot. What was it I said again? I need to breathe in. What if I could no longer breathe out from all the breathing in? My brother is dead. But what if he was still alive and the body I saw was a trick? What would I do if he walked in now? What if this man pulls a gun on me? What would I do? You should hug a gunman right? Shit! I forgot to pick up sugar. Where is the water bill? I haven’t seen it in ages. I am there in the water, still looking for you. How much wasted time have I clocked up in life now? What time is it? Shit!! School run. I am so thirsty. I need a drink. Wait, what if i drink too much and drown my brain like that guy with the driving test. Shit I need to pay my car tax, what if Addison dies in a car accident, i like her shoes….

So yeah.

‘You should take some time out for yourself without guilt.’

Thanks Priory.

But I have a kid!

Is time for myself even possible?

Bedtime.

The one time in the day I do find peace.

Or did.

Before ‘the Incident.’

*Dabs with tissue at nose*

So my question for you, my lovelies, is -

Where do you find your peace, in the midst of it all?

Do you have any advice?

And also..

Can I have that glass of wine now please?

And also,

Would you hug a gunman, or run?

I am just interested, that’s all.

If I am thinking, you may as well do it with me.

Right?

I mean,  I know it isn’t a normal topic of conversation but…

Oh god.

Have I upset you now? What did I just say?  You hate me don’t you? I need to stop leaving the house. Am I a jackass? I need to lose weight. I need to stop staring. I need to act normal. DANCING DUCKS, GRANNY KNICKERS, BOOBS!

Side Effects may include Honesty.

I stopped taking my medication 6 weeks ago.

Nobody but James knows this.

Not The Irish one, Not my best friend, Not my Psychiatrist.

‘Enough!’ my brain screamed when she, my Psychiatrist, routinely suggested another alteration to my chemical imbalance, to supposedly help with the anxiety,  ‘Four sets of medication is ridiculous!!! Are you even yourself anymore?’

I took the new prescription, signed with a flourish of her navy blue Cartier biro (no doubt one of those insanely heavy ones that only rich people have – a status pen if you will, i swear she was grunting with the weight of it as she wrote) and promptly threw it in the bin.

What a rebel.

For the first few days, sans meds, the time during which The Irish one incorrectly believed (as in, I lied to him) I was ‘just’ in the middle of a little medication change, he became completely unapproachable.

He honestly behaved around me in the same way I imagine I would behave, if I was sharing my home with a rabid Pit-bull.

Edgy, wary, alert. (Fucking scared.)

‘Just chill!’ he barked at me on day 3 from the safety of the door, as I sat crumpled on the bed, a Red Hot mess. ‘How can I help you when you don’t even know why you are crying??! You are low because you need to let your new meds kick in! Chill woman!’

There is no denying it.

He was being a prick.

But really, I guess, Can I really blame him?

He has had 4 years of me on the eternal roller coaster named Depression, the last 2 being the most stable, I guess he was scared, this new adjustment wouldn’t work, and history would repeat.

Maybe he was trying out tough love, as a way of telling me to be strong.

Or maybe he was just being a prick.

Anyway.

It left me feeling completely alone and completely stuck, and more determined than ever to get through the withdrawal stage and be medication free.

I have feelings. I am a person. I am not the sum part of an anti depressant.

People like me need medication to live a normal life, that’s what they say.

And I do agree with them, mostly.

I haven’t always though, it took me ages to ‘give in.’

In hospital they would wake me at 7 every morning to march me like a zombie, with all the other inpatient nut bags, to the kitchen area, where they would offer me drugs which I would promptly refuse.

“REFUSAL” the medics would write on their forms day after day, as day after day I said no to any form of medication.

I just had too many doubts about it.

I would sit in group therapy and suffer just as much as everyone who was taking medication, so what was the point?

They seemed no better for it?

Medication, I guess, at that time, on some level, I saw as a failure.

Confirmation that I had an actual illness.

A label.

‘I don’t want that kind of help, I don’t need that kind of help. I don’t want something chemical that is going to stop me being me. I can do this on my own, I am not ill, I am just pathetic, I need to get a grip.’

And besides, what if I take it and have some sort of awful reaction?

These are all the thoughts I am now re-experiencing, now I am without them, and having to consider re starting.

What if I get all of the millions of side effects written in Italics, covering one whole sheet of A4 paper?

Difficulty sleeping. – What if I get even More night terrors? The Irish one is already sick of finding me pulling up the laminate flooring looking for hidden gems.

Dry mouth – I can not bear those little white crusty bits people get, what if I get them and don’t notice? i’ll look like I have rabies. How can i sell face to face, do my job, looking like that?

Increased sweating – Brilliant. Just brilliant.

Abnormal orgasm in women. – What? As in, at random times of the day, without provocation? (Well ok, maybe I could get on board with this one.)

Apathy - Like when I picked my wedding dress cos i couldn’t be bothered trying on any more?

Constipation, Diarrhoea -  What? Both at the same time? Is that even possible? So, wait, does this mean each time I fart I will follow through? Amazing. 

Ejaculation failure- Um…. Not a party trick I have ever managed, so I am guessing this is aimed at men. Hoping. Hoping it is.

Feeling agitated

Feeling anxious

Feeling dizzy

Feeling nervous – Well I feel all of these without medication so….

Increased salivation- So wait, which one is it? Will I be cotton mouthed or drooling?

Itchy- Ok, itchy where? On my head? Like nits? Or Itchy elsewhere? Like Thrush? I need to know!

Vomiting- So basically what they are saying is, I could potentially turn in to an itchy, vomiting woman, who occasionally orgasms mid conversation, who has a drooling dry mouth and never stops sweating? Yeah, no wonder ill experience agitation.

Hair loss- Oh, and I’ll be bald too. Brilliant.

Weight gain- And fatter. Awesome.

Convulsions- Yeay!

Anaphylactic reactions- Hurrah!

Anger - Ok.

Angioedema – Now they are just making words up!

Feelings of hostility – So I will become even more hostile than I am normally?

Impaired judgement - Ha. No change there then.

The list is endless.

And then this.

Psychiatric problems such as uncovering symptoms of depression or suicidal tendencies and self-harming behaviour.

So it could all be for no reason?

So what is the point?

First time around, I resisted and resisted, because the side effects frightened me.

This time around, yeah, also feeling pretty frightened, except, this time, I know they do offer some relief.

But back then, there was no way I was giving in.

Until one day, after my release from hospital, for some reason, I did give in.

I hit a big wall.

And I guess I realised it was my last shot.

If Addison was going to have any hope of keeping his mother, I needed to give it a try.

So, I reluctantly joined the army of people swallowing 40mg of Citalopram on a daily basis.

I spent 2 days feeling sick, but only with anxiety and worry.

(I did not want to be a convulsing, itchy mess, even with the promise of random orgasms.)

But over time the anxiety of side effects all but diminished and I began to notice I could get out of bed in the morning without thoughts of killing myself, without the overwhelming hopelessness, the heart gripping feelings that the future was too long a prospect.

2 years passed in a blur.

A blur – yes, but a stable one.

I was made redundant from a job I adored, upset, yes, but I handled it.

I blew through it.

I organised a wedding, I tried on dresses, I had a hen night which involved crowded areas, I got married.

I blew through it.

Yes, I guess, I felt happy at the time, but I felt I should have experience it more.

Looking back, it was as if the excitement was definitely there somewhere, but just like the suicidal thoughts,  I could no longer connect with it, it was foggy.

I was Apathetic to everything.

I came off my medication because I was sick of the numbness.

I couldn’t remember how it felt to feel. 

And now I can.

Six weeks without anything, it is definitely safe to say, I can connect with all of it.

The anxiety, the paranoia, the misery, the overwhelming love, the excitement that creeps up on me and sends me reeling in to an almost manic state, and also, of course, the overwhelming grief and disappointment that I am without doubt, a complete failure, in every sense.

The taking of everything personally.

The fear of being seen, full stop.

Seen.

Cared for.

Noticed.

I can connect with all of it.

I don’t want to be looked after, seen, hated, disliked, spoken about, loved, enjoyed, seen. 

‘Are you considering going back on medication Lexy?’ James asked me last week in our, once again now, weekly sessions.

It’s a tough choice.

I feel now, like I can actually feel.

And sometimes I enjoy that.

But the negative, it does far out weigh the positive.

Medication numbs the bad, but also the good, it takes no prisoners, makes no choices, can not decipher between the two.

It’s a catch 22.

‘I am doing well though James. I feel like I am winning most of the time.’

I can tell he doesn’t believe me.

Hell, I don’t believe me.

But I would like to believe I don’t need medication.

I wish I could just be balanced.

It is my greatest wish.

The reason I argue with people who state-

‘Happiness is a choice. My husband was depressed and one day he just decided not to be.’  

I wish it was that easy. I don’t want to be ‘happy’ just balanced!

And Yes, I have tried.

Each and every day for what feels like my entire life.

“It surprises me you say that.’ James goes on, interrupting my thoughts.

He is going to say it like it is, I can tell.

I can also tell I am not going to like it.

‘In the last 6 weeks without medication I have heard you speak nothing of joy. The joys. Only of the pain, the irritation, the misery, the hopelessness. You have once again pushed away all of the people who care for you. You are suffering, and badly convincing yourself that you aren’t. A little fogginess allowed you to sit on a plane for 9 hours, something you wouldn’t even consider doing right now. A little numbness saw you try new experiences. You went to america and admitted you loved someone, something you can’t even contemplate doing now. You would laugh and smile and …’ he trails off as I glare at him belligerently.

‘Now, without that medication, you need to check in with me every week again, there is no relief from any of it, and last night….. Last night you beat up your husband.’

It is true.

I did.

I am ashamed to admit this, but yes.

I did physically attack The Irish One.

I smacked and punched, kicked and pulled at him.

My heart is breaking admitting this.

I spat and screeched, and when I got no reaction, other than him fending me off and telling me he loved me, I locked myself in the bathroom and tore my own hair out, carved in to my arms, head butted the walls and eventually wished to be dead.

The pain.

Oh the pain.

What have I done?

It is unforgivable.

I desperately wanted him to retaliate, to punch my head in, to bite me, to scream at me I was useless and that he was leaving me.

I wanted him to leave me.

He hasn’t though.

He treats me as if I am never too exhausting to be loved.

(Yes he is lovely, and yes, I have already provided him with a Zero tolerance leaflet.)

So.

It seems I have hit that wall again.

If the Irish one has found it in his heart to forgive me for attempted GBH, and wants his wife to remain in his life, I must, without further ado, swallow another white pill – daily.

And most probably for the rest of my life.

Tomorrow marks starting over again.

No more sudo-making it.

I need medication for the illness I suffer with.

And if it gives me thrush, so be it.

A little Numbness is underrated.

At least I will be able to cope again.

Find balance.

Bring on the Random Orgasms.

And Don’t ever again tell me about your husband, who ‘just decided’ to get better.

Because each illness is different.

Each story unique.

Every fighter not a failure.

And Irish One?

I am so desperately sorry.