Here We Go Again…


2016 was a horrible year. There I said it.

It took so many talented and wonderful people from us.

We had the appalling atrocities in Syria, the refugee crisis and the depressing lack of compassion displayed by people around the world. We had the rise of the far right across Europe. We saw devastating acts of terrorism against ordinary people just living their lives. We had Brexit and its horrendous aftermath which saw some parts of society seeming to think the decision made racism and bigotry a perfectly acceptable thing.

And then we had Trump… I cannot even go there. It still feels unreal.

I noticed so many of my friends struggle with their own physical and mental health and found it very hard to witness. It seemed this year got to everyone in one way or another.

Personally, I had a very rough year. My depression and anxiety peaked and I have yet to come out the other side. My self destructive behaviours hit an all time high; my health has suffered and I feel truly dreadful.

I can sum it up thus:img_7065

But today is the final day of this annus horribilis and we can only hope that 2017 is brighter.

I know I have a very steep mountain to climb in terms of self care and recovery and I am not looking forward to the challenges ahead. To be perfectly honest, it feels pretty impossible right now.

It will not be easy. But, unless I want to, literally, kill myself, I simply have to do it.

I truly hope next year brings you all, my readers and friends, only good things.

I wish you all good health, happiness, good fortune and good times. I know I can be a miserable old cow but underneath it all I really do care about y’all.

Here’s to better days ahead…

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Ciao

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

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Do You Remember Me? (a rambling post)


Yes, it’s me. I’m back. Well, for now anyway.

I have been stuck in a miserable, depressed state for so long that I can’t even put a time frame on it, and one of the side effects of that is that I haven’t been writing.

I used to have constant ideas for blog posts or stories running through my head but these days I have nothing. My imagination has dried up. My brain is empty.

I hate the effect this has on the OH. I know he hates to see me this way but feels powerless to help me. (No-one can help me. I am the only one who can help me.) I know it causes him pain to see me in this state. It feels selfish of me to continue to feel this way. Selfish and self indulgent.

I wish I could shake this off. I know I have managed to do it before, but I feel so very tired and unable to do it again.

I feel stuck. Completely and utterly stuck.

And when I feel this way, the horrible voices return.

They tell me I am useless, lazy, pointless, pathetic.

I have created my own misery by making dreadful choices, which have lead to a ridiculous amount of weight gain. Looking in the mirror, or feeling out of breath and sweaty at the slightest physical exertion, only add to my self-loathing. What a stupid woman I have been to have sabotaged myself so.

As I sit here now, I feel that I do not have the energy or drive to make the changes necessary. I simply do not know where to begin. I hate going out because I look and feel fat and lumpy. Walking makes me hot, sweaty and breathless. I could exercise at home as I used to before but I can’t even be bothered to do that.

I don’t know what to do or how to begin.

Yesterday I cried, cursing the fact that I have people who rely on me and want me to stick around. Simply ‘opting out’ felt like such an easier choice than facing another day feeling this way. But I do have people, (well, the OH and the dogs), who would miss me and I love them way too much to cause them any further hurt.

So here I am; staying here, facing another day of feeling like the world’s biggest loser.

If I was a believer I would pray for strength or inspiration to turn my life around, but hey, god is a fiction and there is no magic spell to fix me.

As I said before, only I can fix me.

Now if only I knew how to…

 

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

 

Word For Wednesday (W4W) #67


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This week’s word is:

Pain.

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http://nlm.nih.gov

I live with pain on a daily basis. In fact, according to the definition above I live with chronic pain and have done for almost as long as I can remember.

I am not talking about physical pain, (although at the moment I am experiencing a lot of that also). I am referring to psychological pain – depression, anxiety, self hatred, self destruction, self loathing.

I read Cherry’s W4W and related to her situation so strongly.

It has been suggested to me by several friends, as well as the OH, that I may have Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I struggle with this idea. If I were to say yes I have that, in my mind I am also saying, yes I am not hideous and ugly, in fact I might even be attractive but simply cannot see it for myself.

I cannot accept that and I feel that if I said that it is borderline arrogant/big-headed. Yeah, I can see how you might read this and shake your head at my contrariness. After all, I am the one who regularly lifts others up and encourages them to love themselves, yet when it comes to me I do a 180 on my own advice.

Cherry told me this:

“One of the reasons people don’t think or talk about it is because they might think they’ll be seen as being vain. It’s part of the condition and it’s the lies that are warped, not your mind.”

It has given me a lot to think about today.

What would it be like to actually LIKE myself? To accept myself? To not constantly only see my flaws? To see what other people claim to see when they look at me?

Would I even still be ME?

I have always been a person who disliked or even hated herself. The concept of not being that way is foreign and perhaps even a bit scary.

These questions are overwhelming and are bringing tears to my eyes as I write them. How different would my life have been if I wasn’t always hating myself? Have I wasted all these years? Am I incapable of being happy?

Who AM I????

I think I have much more soul searching to do before I even begin to address these questions.

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💋

This week is World Mental Health Awareness Week so this post felt appropriate today.

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

Word For Wednesday (W4W) #66


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This week’s word is:

Denial.

Ireland has a truly woeful approach to mental health. Our Health Minister admitted that €12million, originally earmarked for mental health services, was going to be reallocated. I think that in itself speaks volumes about how our government values its society’s mental health.

In Ireland, 500 people are estimated to die by suicide each year, meaning we can reasonably suspect the number is even higher. We are getting better as a society when it comes to talking about suicide and depression. But not enough, in my opinion.

Here is my denial story…

I was 17 when I sat on my bed one night, wrote goodbye letters to all my family members and took an overdose of paracetamol. I remember lying there crying, feeling only utter despair. After a while I heard my big sister come in from her work. She worked shifts and it was very late. I felt a sudden need to reverse my decision and went downstairs in my nightie and told her what I had done. She took me to the A&E where I was given a dreadful emetic and a revolting charcoal cocktail to drink.  I remember The Beautiful South were playing on the radio. Then I remember being left in a ward of adults, my lips stained black from the charcoal, dreading the next day.

I remained in hospital for a number of days while they did tests to see if the paracetamol had damaged my liver. A stern doctor and a group of medical students stood around my bed, discussing me as if I was invisible to them, handing around my suicide letters. I felt completely violated, vulnerable and pretty furious but I was a good girl, I said nothing.

My parents came and wanted to know why I had done this terrible thing. I had no words to explain it to them. I remember fleeing to the bathroom to escape their questions. They followed me and, feeling helpless and cornered I remember crying and actually stamping my feet in frustration. My father said I was acting like a child. My mother told him I was frightened.

My father was the one who came to bring me home. He was faux cheerful and insisted on taking me to a large supermarket on the way home. He told me to choose whatever fancy foods I wanted. I could not have cared less and he grew frustrated with me. He actually seemed to think a treat would fix me.

My suicide attempt was never discussed.

My father seemed to think I was “on drugs” and would occasionally ask me to promise not to “take drugs again”.

I was never offered therapy. Life went on.

I never told them the real reason I took the overdose.

(Sidenote: My mother died when I was 20 and the morning after her death my father found me downstairs very early because I could not sleep. He sighed with more frustration, I felt as if my grief was an inconvenience to him, my neediness was the last thing he needed. I had a packet of herbal remedy for sleeplessness, Valerian, next to me and he said, “You’re not taking drugs again are you?”)

Denial. My family excelled at it.

If someone you know is feeling suicidal, or you suspect they are, please do not ignore it.

Be brave. Talk to them. Ask them how they are feeling. Ask them if they feel a desire to hurt themselves or to not be here anymore.

Give them the gift of allowing them to say it. Give them space to talk about how they feel, what they need.

Understand they are in more pain than they can express. They need support.

Don’t judge them. Don’t admonish them. Don’t blame them. Don’t shame them.

Don’t bury your head.

Don’t be my father.

Denial – it ain’t just a river in Egypt.

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

Word For Wednesday (W4W) #65


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This week’s word is:

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I embrace imperfection in all things… except me.

I do not so much have a fear of never being good enough. It would be far more accurate to say I have a deep seated belief that I am never good enough.

I remember being a little girl and my mother was testing me on my times tables I had to learn for homework. I got them all right and she was very pleased with me. I, however, was very unhappy. I said I was bad because I had cheated. She enquired how I had cheated. I replied, “But, I just remembered the answers!”, and burst out crying. I simply, even at that young age of about 5, could not accept that I had done well. I could not feel good about my achievement.

I went into town yesterday to buy some groceries and supplies. I made the mistake of trying on some new bras. (Any woman will tell you this is usually not the most pleasant of experiences.) Yesterday, I looked in the mirror and hated what I saw. Really, really hated it.

As I walked home I struggled to contain the tears that threatened to spill down my cheeks.

I know… Hey Kat! It’s not rocket science – eat less, move more, lose weight, right?

Been there, done that.

I got down to a size where I wore age 11 clothes and I saw a fat, ugly person.

Following medical advice, I allowed myself to put on enough weight to fit into a tiny size 6 and I saw a fat, ugly person.

I never, ever thought I had achieved the look or the body I wanted. I never felt happy with it. It was never good enough.

So, I could starve myself again and get tiny again, but here is the rub… I will still hate who I see in the mirror.

I sit here and type this post and my fear is not of imperfection, but that I will never feel at peace with “me”. That I will never be happy. Despite having so much in my life that I am truly grateful for – a loving relationship, friendships, family, enough money/food/things, my dogs, my health – I remain a shallow, vain and vacuous shell.

And worse… I am so bored with myself and this constant discontent. I am certain I have bored you, my readers, with my incessant whinging.

And one thing I never wanted to be is boring.

Dammit!

💋

note:

I do not equate fat with ugly, nor do I equate thin with beauty. It is much more complex than that.

In an uncharacteristic display of self kindness, I will say that I think I did myself a disservice when I called myself a vacuous, vain shell – there are reasons for my body issues and they are real.

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

Word For Wednesday (W4W) #64


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This week’s word is:

Triggers.

This morning I was chatting to a friend of mine; the sweetest, most kind-hearted girl you can imagine. I don’t think I have ever seen her be rude, mean or nasty to anyone. She has a beautiful, generous spirit. Today, she was struggling because something had brought back unpleasant memories for her. Something had triggered these recollections and she was in pain. I could relate to her 100%.

Triggers can pop up at the most unexpected times. I was sent reeling from one in a trashy TV crime show a while ago. One minute I was watching a mindless melodrama, the next I was frozen, flooded with unwelcome and suppressed memories, which started a descent that I am just now starting to climb out of.

Another example; I follow several stunningly beautiful women on twitter and they regularly post selfies and full body pictures of their envious physiques. Some days these pictures act as massive triggers for my self-image issues and my history of eating disorders. I spend the day feeling fat and ugly and berating myself for not looking like them.

Likewise, if I scroll through old photos of myself I can get totally caught up in a self-hatred spiral because I no longer weigh 6 stone.

Triggers are a pain in the ass.

They can hit you in the face and ruin your day, without warning. Many times they are unavoidable, such as the TV show that set me off. But we can avoid some of them. If I find myself looking back through pictures of me when I was stick thin I have to force myself to shut down the laptop and stop.

I was sad to see my lovely friend hurting today but I did remind her that, despite the unforgivable things that happened to her that she was recalling, she turned into a kind, generous and loving person. She could have let those experiences ruin her and made her bitter but she rose above them.

If anything acts as trigger for you, please try to step back and see how far you’ve come, how strong you’ve been and how you have survived whatever the trigger represents.

You are not broken and you are not beaten.

You are still here!

Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.