Friday, 30 July 2010

Imagine a title...

Have had an ok day. I am really exhausted. Not sleepy as such, just completely drained. I really don't like being busy. I don't find it distracts me and makes me feel better like people always say doing things should - I find it wears me out and makes me irritable. I had my singing lesson earlier, which was the first one I have had for about 10 months, and that one was just a one off (and absolutely horrific and made me think I would never be able to sing again), so it is about 18 months since I have had regular lessons. My lesson today was ok. I can't see my old teacher, because she moved away, but I had a lesson with someone I have only had one lesson with before but have known for many years, and she is very good. I was quite worried about it before, partly because my voice has been hurting the last few days - I think just from using it so much with The Tempest, and partly because of the one off horrific lesson I had last year, when my voice was literally cracking every note I sung, and I just left feeling completely demoralised and shit about myself, and thinking I was useless and would never be able to sing again. So I was a bit tense, but it was ok.

There were a few things that she was able to point out straight away - mainly tension related, which made an improvement, but overall I didn't sound as bad as I was expecting to. I needed to record a song that I could email off for an audition, so I did that, and it was ok, although having listened to it back since I got home I think I should have made one more recording as there are a couple of bits I am not happy with, but never mind. The song I was using was an uptempo character song, which is what I am most comfortable with, because when I am doing a character song like that it is different to singing as myself, so I am more relaxed, and she commented afterwards how different my voice was doing that, in terms of placement and clarity and everything. After that I sung through a ballad, which was rangier, and that did sound pretty shit. Despite that sounding crap, I wasn't feeling too negative about the lesson though. What has really struck me though, and what she also pointed out, is that the vast majority of the vocal problems I have been having are confidence/mental health/life related, rather than technique related. I would have preferred it to be the other way around, as it would have been far simpler to correct bad technique than it is to sort out my life and get confidence, but I suppose even if I can just get confidence back in terms of singing then that will have an enormous impact on my voice. I tried singing the ballad that I had sung with her when I got home, and it sounded so much better, which does just confirm how much of my vocal problems are down to tension, and lack of confidence leading to swallowing the sound, and bad placement etc, but at least I know that if I can do it in my bedroom then I can do it, so hopefully next time it will be better. I have booked another lesson for next week, and hopefully I will be a bit more relaxed then now I have had a lesson that wasn't a complete disaster.

Had my appointment with the voice therapist after that - that was fine. She seemed fairly pleased with how I was getting on. I am trying really hard to energise my voice more when I am talking, as that is one of the main things she has told me to do, but it is quite tiring. But there definitely seems to be an energy issue, as in my singing lesson I was told I needed to energise my body far more. I don't have another appointment booked with the voice therapist - she is going to give me a call in about a month to see how I am getting on, and to see if I feel like I need to go back in, and I can email her if I am having problems etc, but I suppose that since there is nothing physiologically wrong for her to help me correct, there is a limit to what she can do.

It is nice having my friend here, I am really liking seeing her, but in some ways it is quite stressful too. I am worried about her because of how little she eats - she really has next to nothing, and so obviously that is concerning, but at the same time I am really quite jealous of the amount of will power she must have to eat so little. I wish I could do that. But I wouldn't want to be thin like she is, she just looks so ill. It is BMIs in the 16s/17s that I am really jealous of, so if she was that kind of size I would probably find it more triggering, as I would be jealous of her body as well as her self control. I feel guilty for being jealous of anything when she is so ill, but I can't help it - I would just love to have that much control over what I ate.

The thing about having her here that I am probably finding most difficult is that I am feeling obliged to eat more than I have been lately, partly because I have only been eating once a day really, and that doesn't set a very good example, and partly because I feel like if I am eating then maybe she will be more likely to eat - she certainly wouldn't eat anything at all if I wasn't eating. But as usual, I am finding it impossible to find the right balance, as I seem to only be able to restrict, or to eat whatever I fancy, and I am pretty much eating whatever I fancy as I can't restrict, and so I have already gained 1lb. So I am feeling pretty shit about that, particularly because I know that now I have got back into eating more again, I will find it harder to cut down again - the longer I restrict for the easier it becomes, and I guess I had been doing it for about 10 days, so I was starting to get quite comfortable on just eating 1 meal in the evening and not much else, and now I am eating more I have undone all the good I had done in doing that, and will have gained all the weight back and will have to start all over again. Thinking about it is actually making me cry - I am so, so desperate to lose weight, and it just feels like one step forwards two steps back. It's a bit like playing Snakes and Ladders really - you climb up a ladder and think you are doing well, and then suddenly you go sliding down a snake and find you are worse off than you were before you went up the ladder.

I have a performance of The Tempest tomorrow night - the rearranged performance from the rained off one on Tuesday. It is also my sister's birthday, so we are apparently going for a picnic. It is selfish, but I feel kind of jealous that my sister is getting to do what she wants on her birthday, with the people she wants, when I had to spend mine at a funeral. My mum was supposed to be doing something tomorrow, but she cancelled it so that she could spend the day with my sister, and although I know it is nobody's fault that I had such a shit birthday, it just feels unfair.

I need to try and sleep now, because my friend went to sleep over 4 hours ago, and my mum will wake me up in the morning when she wakes up, which is likely to be significantly earlier than I would like to wake up given that I am still awake, and not very sleepy as I am feeling quite tense.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Catch up

Just a quick post because I am tired and need to try and get some sleep.

Had first performance of The Tempest tonight - last night we were rained off and so rehearsed again instead, and that performance was rearranged for Friday, which had been a free night. Tonight went ok, or my scenes did anyway. I noticed a couple of people missing out some lines etc, but nothing the audience would have noticed. It did start raining towards the end of Act 3, and was raining quite a lot for Act 4, when I just have to sit on the stage doing nothing for ages, so that wasn't too fun, but you have to expect that really with open air. I was absolutely bloody freezing the whole time. I was really cold before I even got on stage, and then I have to lay on the ground for a good 5 minutes sleeping a little way in, which made me even colder. When I got off stage after my first scene I went into the pub and sat in there to try and warm up a bit as I wasn't on again until after the interval, and then during the interval I put on every item of clothing that I had with me (including 1 leg warmer and a pair of woolly warm up shorts, as I was using my dance bag and I had managed to leave those in there!), but it was so hideous taking it all off at the end of the interval to go back on stage for Act 3. And then Act 4 was the rainy scene so that made me even colder, and then after that I had to change costume into something even colder, and so I spent Act 5 with my teeth chattering. But it all went fine, and the audience seemed to enjoy it despite the weather!

My friend arrived earlier. It is lovely to see her, but I am really worried about her - she is so ill and she just can't see it at all. When I hugged her when she arrived it was quite scary how thin she felt. She really should be in hospital. But it is good to see her. I have a singing lesson (first one for about 18 months, because of my voice problems) and a voice therapy appointment tomorrow, so she will wander around the shops with my mum whilst I am in my singing lesson, and then I will join then, and then we will go up to the hospital for the voice therapy. Bit nervous about the singing lesson because I haven't sung properly for so long, and I know I will get really frustrated and tense if I sound shit, which will make me sound even more shit, but hopefully it won't be too dreadful. My voice is hurting a bit at the moment - I think just from using it so much with rehearsing The Tempest all the time. Apart from that I don't have anything on tomorrow - no Tempest, so it will be really nice to have an evening in. I am feeling really quite wiped out at the moment.

I need to sleep now, I am very tired. Sorry I have been neglecting blogs a bit lately - I got very behind on my blog reading/commenting. I have just been busy with all the Tempest stuff, and then when I have been at home (which has admittedly still been most of the time) I have felt too tired to do anything.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Rest of my day

Well I dyed my hair, but didn’t look at my script – 1 out of 2 isn’t bad! I did manage to also dye my face and fingers a little bit though... I blame my mum for getting it all over my face, because she was helping me, and then in trying to get it off my face I got it on my fingers. Oops. Ah well. I managed to get most of it off. Normally if you wipe your face straight away it comes off fine, but this was stubborn – I was scrubbing away and it wasn’t really budging. I just look a bit dirty if you look too closely, but a bit of foundation will cover it up!

Rehearsal tonight was slightly better. Well all my bits were fine anyway – some others were still awful, but there is nothing I can do about that. I just need to give the best performance that I can. If the old adage about bad dress rehearsal, good first night is true, then this is going to be the best bloody production of The Tempest ever!

Monday, 26 July 2010

This week

Rehearsal from hell yesterday. Truly terrible. It was all over the bloody place, and I am now very worried. I am not actually too worried about my part - it is the play overall that is scaring me! I don't know what happened yesterday - even the very good, very reliable people were messing up. Am desperately hoping tonight is so much better.... Although on the plus side I don't have to have my hair curly - apparently since I am on an island the natural look works, so that saves some hassle. Someone should have told that to the people who made Lost.

Hmmm, plans for the rest of the week. Rehearsal tonight. Seeing L tomorrow. Then performances, my friend coming to stay, voice therapy session, singing lesson, getting my hair cut (although nothing exciting as I need to keep it long until Carousel, then I want it short, bored of long). Busy week. Busier than I would like. I get a bit stressed when I have too much on. Need to go over my lines this afternoon before the rehearsal tonight. Turns out other people go over their lines every day - that never occurs to me. Once I have learnt my lines I don't really look at them again, but I have discovered that everyone else goes over their lines every day, although I do wonder how they need prompts if they spend that long looking at their scripts. Anyway, I should look at them this afternoon. And I want to dye my hair too. Maybe I will look at my lines whilst the colour is on - that seems like efficient time management!

Lost 3lbs from last Sunday until yesterday. 3lbs in a week is pretty good. I want to do that every week, but I know that won't happen. I love it when I get on the scales and the numbers have gone down though. It makes me feel better about things.

Saturday, 24 July 2010


Is this 'stable'? Is this as good as it gets? I have been doing better the last couple of weeks. I haven't been feeling unsafe and like I am going to hurt myself like I do sometimes. I haven't had any major crises. For me it has therefore been a comparatively good period. However, I have still had suicidal thoughts daily, I am struggling with my weight/eating/body image, I still have no energy or motivation to do anything, I am tired all the time, there are things I am too anxious to do, I don't like being around people for long. Basically even in this 'good' period, there is still nothing I enjoy, and I would still much rather not be here, and I am not quite sure where that leaves me really. If I still feel like this in what I would consider to be a good patch, then what is the point? There is still nothing that makes me want to live - what keeps me alive is the effect me killing myself would have on other people - my parents basically. If I didn't have them I really wouldn't even think twice about killing myself. But how long can you go on living purely for other people? I feel like that is what I have been doing for years now, and whilst if things never got worse than this I could just about accept that, they do, and the bad patches are so indescribably hideous that I really can't accept that. I had a little lecture from my GP last time I saw her about suicide being selfish, and whilst it is in the sense that you are putting your own needs and wishes before those of others, I think it is an understandable type of selfishness. Continuing to live when you constantly experience suicidal thoughts, and are living solely for other people is really hard, and I don't actually see why it is more selfish for someone to kill themselves in those circumstances than it is for others around them to keep them alive - it is another form of selfishness, as those people are putting their own desires before those of the person who wants to die. I doubt suicide will ever be seen as acceptable, and a reasonable option in our society, but I don't understand why it is seen as such a taboo.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Pyjama Day Number 2

I have had another pyjama day today. I was supposed to be going to a rehearsal tonight but I have been a bit naughty and pulled a sickie. They are doing 2 scenes tonight, and I am not in one of them, and only have 2 lines in the other, and just stand there the rest of the time. I know it is bad and unprofessional and I should have gone, but I am just not in the mood, and there is nothing about that scene that I need to rehearse, and it won't really affect anyone else too badly not being there, and I just feel a bit crap generally, so I decided not to go. Last night's rehearsal was a bit crap. There is a scene that T and I have (3.1 if anyone knows The Tempest particularly well!) and it was just a complete bloody mess. We did it on Monday and it wasn't too bad - not great but not a disaster, and then last night it was just terrible. He is supposed to be carrying logs from one side of the stage to the other for most of the scene basically, but there are lines where it is really important that he has a log, as I have a line 'Pray, give me that: I'll carry it to the pile', which I obviously can't say if he isn't carrying one, and he wasn't - he was in the wrong part of the stage, and he seemed to have forgotten nearly all his lines, and I was just getting more and more tense and frustrated. He is inexperienced, and he has never done any Shakespeare before, but I am just getting a bit worried since we have less than a week to go.

I am not going to be able to see L this week - she didn't have any free space, which is a bit crap because I feel like there's not been that much continuity lately for various reasons, but it wasn't her fault she was ill Tuesday. She said she will make sure we have an hour and a half next Tuesday.

Feeling really crappy about my body as usual. It hasn't helped that I have been watching lots of episodes of America/Australia/Britain's Next Top Model on YouTube, and obviously they are all really thin, which makes me really jealous and even more determined to lose weight. I am kind of freaking out about my weight, because summer is the time for losing weight - when I lost weight it is nearly always in the summer, and yet we are half way through the summer and I am still bloody enormous. I am probably also particularly stressed about it because of my friend coming to stay next week. I just hate my body so much, it really sickens me. It is also only 4 weeks until I go on holiday, and whilst we are going to Cornwall and so it will probably have rain the whole time anyway and therefore this won't be an issue, I want to be able to wear a bikini or swimming costume on the beach without feeling too hideous, and at the moment I just couldn't do it. Whilst it will be impossible for me to get to a comfortable weight in 4 weeks, I do really need to lose at least 7lbs or I don't think I could do the whole swimwear thing at all, which means losing 2lbs a week basically. That is doable, as I have done it before, but not easy because lately I only seem to be able to restrict and lose weight for a week or so, and then I lose all will power and start gaining again, and I must not let that happen. I hate myself so much.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Pyjama Day

So it ended up being a pyjama day after all - L cancelled. Well, she didn't cancel - she was off sick so the receptionist cancelled. For some reason I was expecting her to not be there today - I left my phone on vibrate so that it would wake me up when they rung to say she wasn't there, and then when my alarm went off and they hadn't rung I was really suprised, and so I checked the landline before I got dressed or anything, and there had been a call I suspected was from them (even though they have only ever called me on my mobile before), so went downstairs and my mum said they had rung to cancel because L was off sick. I don't know how I knew she would be - I just did. I could have done with seeing her really as there were some things I wanted to talk about, but is isn't like she could help being ill. I am hoping she will be able to fit me in later in the week if she is back, but I expect she will be too busy and I will have to wait until next week.

So anyway, I went back to sleep for a couple of hours, as I had had less than 5 hours sleep by that time, and then have just spent the rest of the day slouching around in my pyjamas not really doing a lot. Watched a bit of TV earlier, wasted some time online, have no idea what happened to the rest of the day/night. Not got anything on tomorrow except a rehearsal in the evening. In fact I think that applies to the rest of this week. Oh I did spend a while trying to get my hair to curl (for The Tempest). My hair is very straight naturally, and doesn't like curling or waving, or anything like that, but I can't just leave it straight because it will look way too modern. I just want some basic curls - it won't look very 1930s, but I am not dressed in 30s stuff until near the end anyway, so I don't think that matters. I have been trying to curl it with my GHDs. It did go into something vaguely resembling curls, but it looked more like I had been dragged through a hedge than the pretty curls I was aiming for! The videos on YouTube make it look so easy.... It might be easier if it was longer - the girls on YouTube have longer hair than I do, although mine has grown a lot lately I think. It is shoulder length now, mainly due to my indecisiveness about how I want it, which means I just do nothing with it. I haven't had it cut since before Christmas, which will probably explain why it seems to have grown a lot! I had it in a chin length bob, quite layered and with a fringe, last summer, which I quite liked but it was a bit of a nuisance for dance etc, as there was basically no way of having it tied back neatly - I could get some of it into a ponytail, but most of it wasn't long enough to tie back, and my ballet teacher likes very neat buns, which didn't happen for a while... Anyway, I think the curls might be more successful if it was longer, because they seem to just stick out at strange angles (particularly the layers), but since it isn't going to get any longer in a week I will just have to find some way of making it look a little less wild. It is lucky I haven't had it cut for so long really, because usually I have quite short layers, but it is so long since I had it cut that they are all about jaw length. I get bored with my hair very quickly. As soon as I have had it cut I want it different. And then I can never decide whether I want it long or shorter so I do nothing and dye it instead. In the past 18 months I have dyed it black, darkest brown, chestnut, blonde highlights, chestnut again, and now I am thinking I will go dark again. It would be great if hair grew really really quickly so you could just change it all the time. I think I like changing my hair because my entire childhood it was really long - until I was about 14 it was always at least waist length, and when I was younger it was quite a lot longer than that - past my bum. I think having it the same for so many years makes me want to change it all the time now, but obviously that isn't possible unless you just cut it shorter every time, because it needs time to grow. When it is shorter I generally decide to grow it - not long like I used to have it, but back to shoulder length or a bit longer, but get bored waiting for it to grow and want to cut it, but know I want it longer really, so dye it instead, and then when it gets to this sort of length I want to cut it again. But if I cut it I will just want to grow it again. For performing/dance stuff it is better to have it longer really, particularly for dance, but also for example I need to keep it long until after Carousel really. Boring!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


Rehearsal went ok. I now have my oh so beautiful and attractive costumes. It is set in the 1930s, and I have 2 costumes - 1 which is meant to be not 30s, and kind of Greek toga looking, and obviously white for the whole virginal thing, and then a 30s dress for the later scenes when they will be leaving the island and returning to the 'real world'. Unfortunately, none of the toga type costumes that they know they have somewhere (the company have a big unit on an industrial estate that houses all of the costumes/props/bits of scenery from various productions etc) could be found, so they had dug out these 2 truly hideous tunic type things, one of which was white and fairly closely resembled a tent, and the other was navy and fairly closely resembled a tent. They would have been fine if I was twice the size that I am, but bearing in mind I need to look at least vaguely attractive for the play to work I didn't think either were terribly appropriate. Then another cast member produced the costume they had worn in another production, that they were just bringing back, and they suggested I wear that. It isn't what I would call attractive, but it is an improvement on the tents, in that it does actually fit. It is actually a two piece - a full length (ie touches the floor, and I will probably trip over) skirt, with a longish top, and cream and fairly floaty/flowing etc, and then I will be wearing a gold belt thing with it and some gold sandals I have. I can't say it looks good, but I enthused over it due to not wanting to be put in one of the tents. The dress for Acts 4/5 is actually ok in a very Laura Ashley kind of way - it looks very 30s and it fits well, and I have a little 30s hat to wear with it (although the hat is the wrong colour for the dress, but never mind - it will be starting to get dark by the time I wear that!). So costume sorted. I will take the thickest dressing gown I own and keep it in the wings (or tents rather, since it is open air) for when I am not on stage, as I know from experience that you freeze doing open air theatre in flimsy little dresses, so the second I get off stage I wrap up warm!

The rehearsal was fine. Feeling fairly confident about my lines - I think I know mine as well as most people, and better than some - I only needed 2 prompts, which isn't bad for my first run through off book, although we didn't get as far as the bit I haven't learnt yet, but that is literally just a few lines that I can learn in 10 minutes. No rehearsal tomorrow, which is good. I would have liked tomorrow to be a pyjama day since it is the only day this week I don't have rehearsal, but I need to get dressed to go and see L in the morning. I am very fond of pyjama days. In fact, every day that I don't *have* to leave the house is a pyjama day. I don't see the point of getting dressed if I am not going anywhere - pyjamas are so comfortable, and getting dressed takes far too much effort.

I have a friend coming to stay for a few days next week - from Wednesday to Saturday. She is lovely, and very sweet, and it will be really nice to see her, as I only see her maybe once or twice a year as she is from Ireland, but I am a little bit stressed about it too. She knows me very well, so I don't feel like I have to put up too much of a front for her or anything, so it is ok from that point of view. It is mostly food/weight stuff that is worrying me really. She is very severely Anorexic, and for a start I just feel like she will think I am so enormous - last time I saw her was last summer, when I was 21 lbs lighter than I am now, and she has never seen me as big as I am now. And then my eating patterns are pretty screwy, in that I do virtually all my eating in the evening, sometimes a bit in the afternoon, but I never eat at breakfast time, and rarely at lunch time, but I feel like I need to eat proper meals at proper times etc when she is here, as I know that there is absolutely no way she will eat if I am not (understandable - I wouldn't if I was at someone else's house either), and I find that difficult, and then it is hard to know what to offer her to eat and when, because I don't want her feeling pressured, and wanting to purge etc, but then neither can I just have her eat nothing, or next to nothing, because she is too ill for that. So it is kind of hard, because obviously she won't say she is hungry or that she wants something to eat, so I will have to encourage her to eat, and eat myself at times I wouldn't usually and that I don't like eating at, and I don't know how far I can push it and it is all a bit difficult. She has stayed with me several times before, and we have always managed fine, but I know she is doing worse at the moment, and she should be in hospital really, and so I am just a bit worried. She also wants to meet up with another girl we know one day, which is fine really, but also worries me. Partly because of the weight thing again, and partly because it means getting the bus for an hour each way and I don't like buses - I get quite anxious, and then this other girl can't meet us for long because she is at work, so it will have to be in her lunch break, and so it is quite a long way to go to see someone for 40 mins or so. And I don't like going to busy places because it makes me anxious, so I suppose I just feel a bit tense about the whole thing. But it will be fine. And it will be nice to see my friend - I am just very concerned about her at the moment. I wish I could help her, but I can't, and that is hard. When people are having a difficult time I want to help them - even if it is people I don't know very well. Or at all. If I see someone crying or upset in the street I always want to go over to them and see if they are ok, but I don't because it isn't really the done thing. I just hate seeing people struggling or in pain. I want to be able to fix people, but I can't. I suppose I know how indescribably awful I feel sometimes, and I hate the thought of other people feeling like that.

Monday, 19 July 2010


So it is Sunday today. Well Monday technically since it is now 3am, but it is still Sunday in my head. I was really tired again yesterday. Friday seemed to totally wipe me out. Friday night I slept for 11 hours, rather than the anticipated 12, but was still really tired all day. My sister was here with my nephews. I found that I was very irritable with my older nephew (he is 5) - I just have to be in the right mood or I find him way too much. Too much energy. Too loud. Too everything. I feel mean saying that because he is a sweetie and I love him to pieces really, but nearly every time I see him I just find myself getting more and more tense and irritated. I am just not very good with children. He was only here for an hour before my sister took him off to the birthday party he was going to, but it felt like hours. The little one was easier - he is 10 months now and crawling everywhere, and apart from when he started getting grumpy because he was tired he was ok. When my sister got back from dropping elder nephew at the party she wanted to take the baby for a walk so that he would go to sleep and wanted me to go with her, so I had to do that. By that time I was really quite tired and just came upstairs then and after a while they left. Having said the other day that I don't nap any more, I fell asleep for 45 minutes during the evening - I just couldn't keep my eyes open.

Today T came over at about 4 to run through our lines for The Tempest, and then at half 6 there was a concert that my mum and I were going to that he was coming to with us. So we did a bit of rehearsing/bit of chatting/bit of me teaching him how to improve some awful choreography he has been given for a show he is rehearsing, then went to the concert, then ate when we got home and did a bit more Shakespeare etc. He didn't end up leaving until after 1, so that was today gone. I am getting more sure of my lines. I am relatively confident with most of them now - I have two scenes where I have a lot of lines, and then two more where I only have a few in each scene. I more or less have both the big scenes sorted now - all of my big chunks are fine, but there are some shorter lines that I keep forgetting. I find it easier to learn chunks than I do dialogue, because at least with monologues you only have to worry about yourself - with dialogue you have to think about all the cue lines etc too. So there are a few lines I am not sure about, but they will come over the next few days. I haven't really looked at the other two scenes yet, but learning them should just be a 10 minute job. I find that if I read lines over a couple of times (ideally last thing before going to sleep) then I know them reasonably well the next time I go over them. I haven't spent a great deal of time learning the lines really - I think the problem has been far more with my motivation, or lack of, than my memory. Some of the time I just haven't had the concentration or energy to learn them, but those times I have just left it and waited until my concentration has been a bit better rather than spending ages trying to learn them and not getting anywhere.

I have rehearsals every night this week apart from Tuesday, which I am not looking forward to, as despite being more secure with the lines now, I just can't be bothered with it. I get annoyed with myself for feeling like that, because I am meant to be enjoying it, but I just want to be at home on my own - not at rehearsals with lots of people. We are meant to be running through the whole play tomorrow night, so I suppose I will try and do it off book, as I have to at some point. First rehearsal off book is always a bit frustrating, because you end up needing far more prompts than you think you will, but I prefer to get off book as soon as I think I know my lines well enough to give it a go, as I find it a better way of getting the remaining lines into my head. I suspect most of the rest of the cast will be in the same position - there are maybe 3 who have been off book for a couple of weeks now, and I think Prospero will still be very much on book unfortunately, but I should think most people will be off book but needing prompts. I would have liked to be in this position a couple of weeks ago really, but it will be fine - I am not concerned about not knowing my lines in time, particularly since we still have 6 rehearsals to go. I have done some musicals in the past where the entire thing has had to be learnt, blocked, choreographed, rehearsed etc in 2 weeks, so whenever I am concerned about performances approaching fast I always think about those shows.

Mood wise I am not doing too great. I have a definite problem with lack of energy at the moment - I just feel so exhausted all of the time, even more so than usual. But that is something I have experienced quite a few times before. Once when we were on holiday it was particularly bad - I was sleeping for a ridiculous number of hours a night, and was still absolutely exhausted, to the point where I couldn't walk for more than about 5 or 10 minutes without needing to rest - my legs were all wobbly like jelly. But it got gradually better after a few weeks. At the moment it isn't as bad as that, but I just feel so drained all of the time. Eating is happening far too much for my liking. Am disgusted and repulsed by my body. Seriously considering getting liposuction on my thighs - I hate them so much, they really do make me feel sick. I hate myself for letting myself stay this big for this long. It is completely unacceptable. But I don't know how to lose weight. It just isn't working. I need to find the will power to go back to restricting, but it just isn't there. Still purging. Not lots, but maybe a couple of times a week. Not too happy that I have gone back to that the last few months after so long of rarely/never doing it. If I can get back to restricting I will be able to stop purging, but I just don't know how. I wish I didn't care so much about how I looked. I wish I could be happy with my body like some people are. Or if not happy, accepting. Accepting would be good. But I could never accept my body at this size - it is too repulsive. I would settle for losing a stone. If I could just maintain my weight a stone less than I am at the moment - I could cope with that. It isn't as thin as I would like to be, but it would put my weight back at a level that I see as acceptable in that I can cope with it - when I weigh that I don't start beating myself up if I see myself in a mirror, and I don't want to kill myself because of how disgusting I look. I still wouldn't be happy with my body, I doubt I would whatever I weighed, but I could live with it. I just don't know how to lose the weight. I need control, and I have none.

Saturday, 17 July 2010


I am feeling totally wiped out. I was thinking last night how drained I was feeling, even though I hadn't been doing anything at all - just a general feeling of tiredness and everything feeling like too much effort. Then today has been a long day and I am feeling completely exhausted. My mum had an appointment at the hospital this morning, and then I had one there this afternoon at 4:30 with the voice therapist, and it wouldn't really have been worth coming home between since it is half an hour each way, so I had to get up this morning and go with her, then go into the town and go round the shops for hours, then go to my appointment, and then come back home.

I was really tired to start with, because I didn't get to sleep early, so I didn't get very much sleep. Then I was out from about half 10 until about 6, which is a long time for me, and I find it really tiring being out all day like that. And then between and my appointment we were shopping, which is tiring. I have never been the type of girl to love shopping and spend days on end going around shops trying on everything - most of the time I see shopping as a sometimes necessary evil, and I do not go around trying on clothes just for fun - I try on clothes so that I know I am only buying things that I like so that I don't have to go back to the shops to take things back. It isn't fun. I have friends who love shopping and can just shop for hours, even if they don't want/need anything. They even enjoy it if they don't buy anything. I am not one of those people.

Shopping is particularly difficult at the moment because of my weight. Well, I say at the moment, but really I mean the last 6 months or so. I have so few clothes that fit that it is a complete nightmare to get dressed - tops are ok, but I could count on one hand the number of skirts and trousers I have that fit. I may even have fingers left over. But I completely refuse to buy clothes that would fit me, because that would be accepting my current weight and size, which I am absolutely not prepared to do. So today I helped my mum buy bras, bought a bra myself as bras don't quite count in my refusing to buy clothes since I don't mind my boobs being a bit bigger, as they are still only 32Cs, and that is ok. I suspect my boobs would be non existant if I wasn't on the pill and 21lbs heavier than I used to be. Then I bought some shoes. Shoes are ok since my feet don't change size. Spent ages prancing around the shop in very high heels to see if I could walk in them, as I am crap in heels, so just tried on various pairs of heels and practiced walking in them. Then I found a nice pair of shoes, not too high - about 3 inch heels, and they were reduced to £5, which was clearly a bargain that couldn't be missed. I have very few pairs of shoes due to my very awkward feet that are just the wrong shape for virtually all shoes (although every single Marks and Spencers 32C bra that I try on fits absolutely perfectly - my boobs are clearly what they design their 32C bras for). Anyway, so I bought the shoes, and a couple of pairs of plimsoll/trainer type things, that were also reduced to £5 each, because I like comfortable footwear. One pair are black with a white flowery type pattern, and the others are grey with black spots. Excellent.

Then it all went a bit wrong. Went into Next, and saw leggings, which I could do with, and thought I could get away with buying since they are stretchy. I also saw bikinis and thought that since I don't have one, due to the breakdown that trying on bikinis inevitably causes, I should buy one. So off I went to the changing rooms with my leggings and bikinis. Tried on the leggings. They were too tights - I could get them on but they felt too tight, and I refused to buy a size up, because that would be giving in to my fatness. I hate my thighs more than I can describe. I never look at them in a mirror (except at ballet when it is unavoidable) because it makes me feel so completely and utterly repulsed that I actually feel physically sick. Took the leggings off to try the bikinis on and got even more upset  about my thighs and started crying about how hideous I was and hitting them as hard as I could. I wished I had a blade. I would have loved to cut them to shreds. I just want to slice enormous chunks off them. Actually I really want liposuction on them. Even when my weight was lower my thighs were too big. Much too big for the rest of me. My mum asked me earlier when I was so upset if I could get liposuction on the NHS, in the same way that people with really big boobs can get breast reductions if it is causing them psychological distress etc. Obviously she meant well, but my mum asking me if I could get liposuction on the NHS kind of made me feel even worse about them. Anyway, so that was all pretty upsetting, and reminded me why I do not go shopping, and why I am right to avoid mirrors, clothes, shops etc etc until I am smaller.

Had my voice therapy appointment after that, which was ok. My voice problems are definitely tied up with my mental health problems to at least some extent, which is a shame, and something of a problem really. Anyway, got home at about 6 and have just felt completely exhausted since. It took me about an hour to get enough energy to get up to go to the toilet and get a drink. Line learning is not going well. I tried to do some this morning during my mum's hospital appointment, and got a few lines learnt, and then had a while to wait before my appointment as I got there a bit early and so tried to learn more then, but I couldn't even read the words I was so tired, and I couldn't remember what I had learnt earlier today, or even other days - my brain had just given up for the day. I feel really pathetic for being exhausted so easily. It seems particularly bad at the moment - I just get completely drained by things that everyone else just does every day, and I don't know why. Today was a bad day. I am hoping to go to sleep now - several hours earlier than I usually would, but I just feel so shattered. I suspect I will sleep for about 12 hours - when I have had a tiring day I seem to need an excessive amount of sleep after, although I always seem to need quite a lot of sleep to not feel ridiculously tired - 10 hours is my ideal. One good thing over the last few months is that I haven't been napping in the afternoon like I used to. Admittedly, I sleep all morning most days, but last year I would wake up at say 12 or so, and after being awake for 2 or 3 hours I would go back to sleep, whereas apart from when I am feeling really terrible and so sleep to keep myself safe, I am not really napping anymore. Since I still sleep all morning it isn't much of an achievement really, but I guess it is something. Got to sleep now, I am too tired to think.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Line learning

I am feeling really stressed about The Tempest. I have less than 2 weeks until the performances, and I just can't get the lines in my head. They just aren't sticking, and I don't know what to do. I just feel so crap about the whole thing. I'm not enjoying it, and I am just getting more and more worried about not being able to learn the lines, and letting everyone down, and being crap, to the point where it is making me really want to overdose, because if I am not alive then I won't have to learn these bloody lines. I just feel completely shit and useless, and really pressured by it all. I wish I could learn lines like I used to, but I just don't have the concentration at the moment, or the motivation. I wish I had never got involved with it.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Appointment with L

I had my appointment with L earlier today. It felt better than the last couple have done, although I am not sure why. I just felt a bit more comfortable than I have been recently and it was just a bit easier and more like it used to be. It wasn't that it was an amazing, life changing session or anything, but it just felt better. We talked quite a lot about relationships - sexual relationships and friendships etc. She has a student at the moment - she didn't bring her in to my appointment or anything, but she said she would like her to talk to me at some point if I was ok with that, which is fine. I have no problem with students and talking to them etc - I just wouldn't really have wanted her in my only session in the week that I have with L, but I assume L knows that, because she didn't ask about bringing her in or anything. I get a bit pissed off when people assume it will be ok to just have a student in your appointment without really asking you first - my old, shit CCO did that - he just told me he had a student with him that day. I generally don't actually mind, and since I never actually said anything of any depth to shit CCO it wouldn't have mattered in the least who heard it, but I don't like people making assumptions like that. Mind you, when we were doing family therapy and he was my CCO he also assumed that we would like to go and do 1 session of family therapy at some conference type thing in front of an entire hall full of professionals. We set him straight on that one. He really is a moron. But anyway, I will probably meet this student sometime soon, although I don't know when yet. She is apparently only a first year, so I will try not to scare her too much ;)

Monday, 12 July 2010

More relationship talk

Carrying on with the relationship theme, I have been spending a bit of time lately with the guy who is playing opposite me in The Tempest. I shall call him T. He was stage crew on the play I did a couple of months ago, and was one of the people I went out with after the festival performance. Then him and the guy playing Prospero came over one night a few weeks ago to run through our scenes. Then T was going on holiday so wasn't about for a couple of weeks. He got back on Monday, and we decided that since we only had 3 weeks until the play we should get in some extra rehearsing, so on Tuesday afternoon he came over. We read through our scenes a couple of times and then just chatted the rest of the time. He was going to come over again on Thursday, but I cancelled because I wasn't really feeling overly sociable, but we arranged for him to come over Sunday afternoon. Then he texted me on Friday evening and asked if I wanted to get together that night to watch a film or something. I said it would be better for me to leave it until Sunday, as I had some things I wanted to do that night, and it was quite late before he asked. So then he came over yesterday at about 2, and we ran through our scenes a couple of times and then watched DVDs most of the rest of the time, and then we went out for a meal (he paid) and then came back and watched the end of the World Cup final, and then just chatted, and then he went home about midnight.

I am a bit confused about it all. Are we just friends or does he fancy me? I am completely useless with relationships - I don't know how they work and I am terrible at reading the signs, and I don't even know how to tell how I feel about things myself. I don't know how to tell if I fancy someone unless it is a complete physical attraction. I have never had a serious relationship - the closest I have come to it was with a guy when I was away at uni. I liked him a lot, and we were together for a little while, but then it just kind of naturally fizzled out when I was in hospital, and then when I moved back home. But I knew I fancied him from the first time I saw him. As did most of the other girls on campus come to that. But it grew into a relationship pretty quickly - I think we kissed maybe the second time we met, so it was all nice and clear cut and I knew it was more than just friendship. I have no idea with T - I don't know what he wants. I don't know what I want. I am not really physically attracted to him - he isn't ugly or anything, but he isn't my type. I like him, he is a nice guy, but I don't know how I would know if I fancied him and wanted more than friendship, and I certainly have no way of knowing what he wants. And I don't even want a relationship. I would be shit in a relationship. That is why I always avoid them. I think it would be too much to expect anyone to put up with me. My mood is always so all over the place, and when I feel really bad I won't see or speak to anyone. T hasn't seen that side of me. He doesn't even know I have mental health problems. He has only seen the smiley happy mask. He would probably run a mile if he knew what I was really like. And maybe I am being really presumptuous in even wondering if he is interested in me. Maybe he just wants to be friends. That would be fine with me. That would be best for me actually. My parents seem to think he is interested though. Apparently he wouldn't have paid for my meal if he just wanted to be friends.

I am completely useless with relationships. I am about as savvy as a 7 year old. For a start, I am 24 and have never had a long term relationship. I have this habit of flirting with guys, making them interested, and then turning them down. I have done that a lot. I suppose it is flattering to know that someone is interested in you, but apart from with the guy at uni who I really did like a lot, I don't want to get into a relationship - it seems too complicated and too much, and then I am such a perfectionist that it is rare that I meet someone who meets my standards. It is like I am so far from perfect myself, that any boyfriend would have to compensate for that by being super perfect. I have never had sex. That makes me feel like a complete weirdo sometimes. I am 24. Any guy who knew that would probably think I was a complete freak and run a mile. Even the guy I was with when I was at uni was slightly strange about it, and I was only 19 then - 5 years on people would think I was very strange I think. And most of the time I don't care. I have no interest in sex. I almost have an anti-interest - I think that penis' are revolting looking things, and I really do not get the attraction. Maybe that is partly why I back off from relationships. But then I have done weird things, like stripping on web cam for a guy I met online and don't know/have never met etc. Multiple times. Not for a long time now. I am far too repulsed by my body to let anyone else see it now. But doing that at all was kind of weird. I think the first time I was in one of my weird hyper patches, and after that I had done it once, so why not do it again?

In other news, The Tempest is not going well. Well apparently the rest of the play is, but my scenes aren't. I don't know any lines and we open in 2 weeks. I am letting everyone down. I just have absolutely no motivation or concentration. I hope I am not stupid enough to let myself get involved in any productions in the future when I don't feel like doing it - I have learnt from this and the other play that I won't suddenly find the enthusiasm half way through rehearsals, and start enjoying it. It will just feel like a chore the whole time, and I will resent it. I feel really lonely at the moment, even though I am seeing people more than I would usually. I am in my own little bubble of suicidal thoughts again, and it feels unpenetrable. Seeing L in the morning. That's all folks!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Appointment with Dr O

I wouldn't exactly call my appointment with Dr O today a success. Often when I see her I feel like she is grasping at straws, and will therefore take anything that I say or do that could possibly be construed as vaguely positive, or at least not overtly negative, and jump on it and say how well I am doing. Whilst I am sure this is supposed to be encouraging, to be honest it comes across as frustrating, because I feel like she doesn't actually know how I am really feeling, and also somewhat patronising. Today was definitely one of those days.

My mum works in a school, which I used to attend, and they had Speech Day this morning, which I went to with her, so when I saw Dr O this afternoon I was wearing a dress and had make up on. She didn't ask how I was, or how things had been - the first thing she said was that I looked different, and pointed out that I had make up on, so I explained that I had been at the Speech Day that morning. After that she said how nice it was to see me doing so much better, and how I seemed so much brighter, and how she really hoped that this good patch would continue. Whilst it is of course nice that she wants to see me doing better, it would have been nice if at some point during my appointment she had actually asked how I was feeling, rather than assuming that because I had make up on everything was great. If I had been very bright and smiley it would possibly have been more acceptable, although I really would prefer it if people judged me on what I said, rather than how I acted, as the two are often very different, but I really don't think I came across as any different to usual, bar the dress and make up. She said something about how much progress I had made, and how now all I needed to do was find something to do that I would be enthusiastic about etc. I then said that I didn't want to be here, and just couldn't make myself care about anything - that in the brief periods where things are a bit better, or I have some energy etc, than it is performing and theatre that I care about, but the rest of the time it feels like a chore rather than anything pleasurable. I explained how I was rehearsing The Tempest, and that I had initially hoped that if I started doing it then I would find some enthusiasm for it, but that it just hadn't happened, and that I don't like going to rehearsals, and I am stressed about my complete inability to concentrate on anything, as it is making line learning impossible, and I now have 2 and a half weeks to learn an entire Shakespeare play. Well it isn't just concentration - it is also a complete lack of motivation. I just can't be bothered. I told her there was nothing that I felt enthusiastic about, and that I am just here until I manage to kill myself. I said that even when I am thinking perfectly rationally and logically, I think that suicide is the right thing for me to do, and is what will end up happening.

She then told me that suicide was selfish, to which I said that I don't consider suicide any more selfish than other people forcing (or trying to) someone to stay alive when they have wanted to die for years, as it is just weighing up one person's pain against anothers, and I don't see how one can be seen as selfish, and the other perfectly acceptable, which she thought was a completely crazy way of looking at it, and said I had been given this life and that I should make the most of it and do as much with it as I could. She then said about all the people out there who are ill or missing limbs or paralysed etc, and how much they would love to be healthy etc. I said that I understood that, and if I could give them my health/life then I absolutely would, but that actually me being alive doesn't make things any better for them, and that actually the best thing would probably be to find a suicide method whereby I could be an organ donor, as then some of these people would be able to become more healthy. I was actually getting really quite irritated by all of this, as I felt like she was imposing her personal views regarding suicide and life etc on me, and I don't think that is right. Luckily she didn't seem to have a response to my last comment, and said she should see her next patient.

Overall, I felt completely ignored and invalidated by my appointment today. I know she is only my GP, and she isn't a therapist or anything, but she literally didn't ask at any point how I was feeling, or how things had been over the last month since I last saw her. She also didn't know that I had had a CPA review, although whether that was her fault or that of the CMHT I am not sure - GPs are supposed to be invited to CPA reviews, although they rarely attend, but she didn't seem to know anything about it, and in fact when I mentioned having had a CPA, she asked what that was, which following on from her asking if there were any types of therapy apart from CBT last time really didn't fill me with confidence. I was also not happy about the conversation about suicide - I know that some people view suicide as selfish, but someone telling you that suicide is selfish is hardly going to make you re-think your views, or change the way you feel, and so I don't understand why people say it. She is Catholic, and I am not religious, and I have found in the past that has been a problem on occasion - several times when I saw her she kept saying how much going to church would help me, which I thought was inappropriate.

At the moment I feel like things with all the professionals involved in my care are going downhill. As I said before, I will no longer be having any routine appointments with my psychiatrist, things don't feel right with L, and my GP doesn't bother asking me how I am, tells me how well I am doing, and then lectures me on the selfishness of suicide. I suppose I don't need to see my GP as regularly as I have been doing so - once a month - it is probably more habitual than out of any real need, so perhaps I should just stop that, and only see her when I actually need to. Although you have to book an appointment about 3 weeks in advance, as they are always so booked up, unless it is an emergency. I just want my old GP back. Which of course is impossible, but at least someone who is understanding, and has knowlegde of mental health problems and treatment. Dr O is a nice person, but right now it feels like that is the only positive thing I can say about her. I am really feeling pretty shit about everything treatment wise at the moment. There are clearly no plans to put me on medication, since I am no longer seeing Dr E. Although I have never been terribly pro medication, I don't like that it doesn't even seem to be considered, however things are. Dr O doesn't even bother asking how I am and just bases it all on how I look. And I feel like L is starting to give up on me. Which is understandable I suppose, as I gave up on myself a long time ago, but I am really feeling like a lost cause now. Which yet again brings me back to suicide...

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Relationships with professionals

I talked in my last post about relationships with friends etc being complicated. At the moment I am feeling like relationships with professionals are just as complicated - sometimes more so. I said recently that I feel like my relationship with L, or how I feel about it, has changed, and I wasn't sure how or why, and I have been thinking about that. I think it is probably partly because I haven't seen her as regularly lately - she has had to cancel several appointments, and she has also had leave, and that has left me partly not feeling quite as comfortable with her because of having been seeing her less, and also quite let down and rejected because of the cancelled appointments. I find it very difficult to trust people, and there are very few people that I do completely trust, and I usually end up getting very attached to those people, as I have with L, and so then when I feel rejected by them I tend to back right off, to stop myself getting more hurt. I do know that the cancelled appointments haven't been her fault, and that it has been because she has had other patients in crisis etc, but know it is related to other patients that she sees makes it even harder in some ways, because I feel intensely jealous of them - I suppose for being in the type of crisis that means she has to cancel all of her other appointments. It makes me feel like they are important, and I'm not - nobody has ever cancelled all their other appointments when I have been in crisis. It sounds very petty and childish, but that is the way I feel. I also seem to see her for less time now even when I do see her. I usually used to see her for about an hour and a half - then there was the period when I was supposed to see her twice a week (which only actually happened twice, as the other times she had to cancel the other appointment that week), and so the appointments were shorter, only an hourish, but there were 2 of them (or supposed to be). Now it has gone back to once a week, but the appointments are still shorter - the week before last was just about an hour, then last weeks was cancelled, and then this weeks was about 50 minutes. Again, I know it sounds minor, but it makes me feel like she doesn't think it is worth seeing me for longer like she used to. And then there is the whole making goals and setting targets thing that was brought up at my CPA, and that L has been talking about since. I just can't seem to do it - I can't think of any goals or targets to make at all, but L wants them to come from me. And I am constantly worried that if I can't think of anything, and I am not making any progress, then she will discharge me. It is a cliche, but I am terrified of being abandoned by her, I really am. And I keep wondering if that is why she is seeing me less lately etc - because she doesn't see the point when nothing changes and I don't make any progress. I think all of those things are affecting my relationship with her, because I am scared of being too reliant on her, as I think I am, and then being dropped, so I am subconsciously trying to distance myself a bit. Relationships with therapists and other professionals are really hard, because they are the people you are meant to be able to trust, and rely on, and be honest with more than anyone else, and yet there is always fear, for me anyway, that they will leave, or something will happen that will stop you seeing them etc, and it is incredibly hard to deal with that when it does happen, so part of you doesn't want to let them in, or let yourself get reliant on them, because then it hurts too much when they leave, or you can't see them anymore.

I have an appointment with my GP tomorrow. I have mixed feelings about her at the moment. I started thinking about my relationship with her after reading DeeDee's post on Mental Nurse about GPs and Mental Illness. I can't decide what I think about my GP. She is nice, she tries to understand, and when I was first seeing her and waiting on an appointment with the psychiatrist, she pushed for that etc. So in some ways she is good. On the other hand, I get the impression sometimes that she thinks I just need to pull myself together and stop being a mentalist, which is obviously not as simple as it sounds. When I saw her and was very suicidal she told me to replace the obsessive thoughts about suicide with obsessive thoughts about something else - I like dogs was her suggestion I believe... She claimed not to notice when I gained 25lbs, and yet recently when I mentioned my weight having gone down slightly (2lbs), she said she had thought I looked like I had lost weight. Last time I saw her she asked if I had had CBT - I said that I had and thought that it was patronising crap for the most part. She then asked me if there were any other types of therapy. Whilst she is not a specialist, I would expect a GP to know that more types of therapy than CBT exist. I said that DBT is usually the recommended treatment (in the NICE guidelines) for BPD, and she asked what that was. I gave a little explanation (bearing in mind I have never had any DBT myself) and she said she thought that sounded really good and would really help me. I explained that it wasn't available in our area, and her suggestion was that I become a DBT therapist so that I can run DBT sessions in our area?! This was one of the most bizarre suggestions I have ever had from any professional, ever. I think that she probably mainly has experience with IAPT, and I believe some of the people who deliver that do literally just do like a short course in basic CBT etc, which I can only assume was her reasoning for thinking I could become a DBT therapist. She didn't seem to realise that even if it was that simple, it wouldn't actually help me, as I need therapy myself - not to become a therapist for others. So she says some pretty ridiculous and unhelpful things at times. But she is nice, and I think she does genuinely want me to get better - she just seems to have very little knowledge past the absolute basics about mental health problems, and so I think doesn't know what to say a lot of the time. I have considered seeing another GP, but I do like her, and it is a small practice of 3 Doctors, and she is the only female. I am generally more comfortable with females, and one of the others I wouldn't consider seeing, as he was the first GP I ever spoke to about my mental health problems, back when I was 17, and was very unhelpful and unsympathetic. The other I think may possibly be the best where mental health is concerned, but I used to know him outside of the Dr/patient relationship (which is what happens when you live in a rural area!), and have therefore always felt slightly uncomfortable talking to him. But I don't know if my GP is right for me really, and I do sometimes feel like she doesn't grasp how desperate and suicidal I am feeling when things are really bad etc. I miss my old GP. She was the perfect combination of caring and knowledgable. Living where I do I don't have much choice in terms of GPs, and I do like Dr O, as I have said. But for example if L was on leave, and I was having a very bad, suicidal episode or something, and really needed help, the person I would try to speak to would probably be my GP, as I would rather speak to someone I know than a random CMHT member that I don't know, or even worse, my ex CCO, who really was a chocolate teapot. And I know that I wouldn't get anything in the way of help or suggestions from Dr O, except to talk to L when she was back. She wouldn't speak to the CMHT or Crisis Team or actually do anything. Maybe that is ok, and normal for GPs, and I expect too much after my old, fantastic GP. It just doesn't feel quite right. As I said, I have an appointment with her tomorrow, so I will see how that goes. I did think about seeing the GP there that I used to know, but if it felt too uncomfortable then I would then feel really awkward about going back to Dr O. Maybe better the devil you know?

Then there is Dr E, my psychiatrist. Again, she is nice, but is completely unwilling to try me on any medications, even though both L and I feel that I have been worse overall since coming off anti depressants, and I don't think would ever admit me to hospital or refer me to the Crisis Team however bad things were. So basically she does absolutely nothing, and therefore I am not going to be seeing her anymore, unless I want to for something in particular, in which case L will get me an appointment with her. So basically she is out of the picture now, and I am not sure how I feel about not being under the care of a psychiatrist, particularly since Dr O won't ever touch my medication, or rather she would never change anything when I was on medication - now I only have Diazepam there isn't much to touch I suppose.

I think overall I just have this feeling of being stuck, and general dissatisfaction at the moment with my mental health and treatment for it, or some of the time, lack of. I still think L is great, and I am still very attached to her, but for the reasons I talked about above I feel like things have gone slightly off with her, and given that she is now the only person I see about my mental health problems, this feels like a problem. I can't see anything changing for me with my current treatment, and that makes me feel very hopeless, as I can't cope with living like this, which in turn leads to suicidal thoughts. And that is why relationships with professionals are so complicated!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Random musings

The last few days have been tough. I think I have just felt pretty wiped out by everything. I also seem to be very irritable - pretty much everyone says is pissing me off. And I am having definite trust issues. Right now I don't feel like I trust anyone at all. I am not even sure what it is I don't trust people with. I think just to speak to them generally. I have felt quite let down by some people lately (including L, although I know it wasn't her fault), and it is just making me want to keep everyone at arm's length. I often feel with friendships like I am the one putting in the effort - I have several friends who I would never ever see if I didn't arrange things, and with most of my friends it feels like I am always the one who has to do the contacting. I don't know how many friends I would have if I just left it and didn't contact them at all. In fact, I did do that recently with a friend. She is one of the few friends I have who lives locally, and I usually arrange to see her maybe every 2 or 3 weeks on average, and speak to her online a lot. Anyway, a few weeks ago I had repeatedly tried to contact her, both online and on her phone, and she wasn't replying at all. I knew she was coming online as I could see her doing things on Facebook, so she was just ignoring me. She does also have problems with Depression etc, and does tend to isolate when she is going through a bad patch, but we had made tentative plans to meet up, but then I hadn't been able to get hold of her, and then I kept trying to contact her, and in the end I just sent her a text saying that I hadn't been able to get hold of her for a while and so I would stop trying and leave it to her when she wanted to talk, and that I hoped she was ok. I then didn't hear anything from her until I had a message from her on Facebook saying Happy Birthday, and she also sent me a text that day saying sorry she hadn't been in contact, but that she hadn't had any credit on her phone. I then spoke to her online today, and she wanted to talk because she was finding things really hard and so needed someone to talk to etc, so we talked for quite a while about what was going on with her etc. I just feel like with quite a lot of my friends I am always here when they need me, or try to be, but in between they will just ignore me. It wouldn't have hurt for her to send a quick text or message on Facebook saying that she didn't really feel like meeting up or chatting, but that she would contact me when she did, but I just heard absolutely nothing from her for weeks, and I kind of just feel like that is a bit rude really. It isn't the first time it has happened but I just wish she would let me know - if someone tried to call me and I didn't feel like talking then I would send them a text saying that, but it just seems a bit rude to ignore someone completely. People confuse me. At the moment it feels safer not to let anyone in, not to be close to anyone, because then they can't let you down or upset you.

I am having strong suicidal thoughts at the moment. Very intense actually. And for the first time in a while, there isn't really anything to stop me acting on them. Well, there are all the usual reasons of not upsetting people etc, but at times like this it feels like there would be very few people who would genuinely miss me if I wasn't here. I admit there would be people who would be initially upset, and who might think they missed me, but when I think about who I speak to in a typical day or week, it is the same few people over and over again. Apart from those few people, I often wonder how long it would take people to notice that I wasn't here, if they weren't told. The only friend who bothered to send me a Birthday card was A, who has been in hospital for the last 8 months. But anyway, apart from not hurting people that there are no real reasons. Ok, I am rehearsing a couple of productions, but one I could be very, very easily replaced, as they haven't even got to the point of blocking my scenes yet, and won't for another 6 weeks or so, so that doesn't even count really. The Tempest would be more of a problem in that respect, since it is on in 3 weeks, but I am going to be so shit in it that it would probably be better for them if I wasn't in it. I don't know how I am going to learn my lines. I have 3 weeks until the first performance, and I know about half my first speech and that is it. I just don't have the concentration or motivation to learn them. And I find it so frustrating, because I used to learn lines so easily.

I was thinking earlier about how much of my identity is caught up in performing, to the point where I don't know who I am without it. I have been dancing since before I can remember, and been acting and singing for years and years now. For as long as I can remember I have wanted my career to be in performing. When I was very young I wanted to be a dancer, then when I got older I realised I would never be good enough to be a dancer, that I had left it all too late in terms of good training etc, and I got far more passionate about Musical Theatre and acting. But performing really is all I have ever wanted to do. When I was younger, everyone else changed their mind fairly regularly about what they wanted to do when they grew up. I never did. Then performing groups outside of school were the first place I felt comfortable, and like I belonged, and where I was happy. People started telling me I was talented. I felt like I was good at something. There were about 2000 students at my 6th Form College, and all 3 years I was there I was known as the best singer. I got all the solos in all the concerts. Random people used to come up to me afterwards and ask if I was going to go to drama school and perform professionally. The college principal knew me from all the concerts etc and used to stop and chat to me when he saw me, which in a place that size was pretty unusual. After the auditions for the college show I was given the choice of what part I wanted. The music tech students used to get me to record the vocal parts for whatever they had to record. At school I had always felt very average, despite it being less than a tenth of the size. I was never given big parts or anything at school, and then I was somewhere much bigger and yet loads of people knew who I was, and knew who I was because of my performing. I always kept performing, even after I had stopped everything else because of my mental health problems. Not so much performing in public, but I always kept up with my singing and dance lessons etc. A few years ago I used to go to a MIND drop in centre, and again I was always known as the singer there. They used to do a couple of concert type things a year as fundraisers, and I was always put on as the finale. Even when I was feeling really, really awful, and going through a really bad patch when one of them was on, I still went on and performed. I couldn't cope with going into a shop afterwards, but I could sing for the mayor. When I was on stage, it was like being a different person. It doesn't seem to work anymore. I just don't care about anything. I get brief times sometimes when I get really enthusiastic and excited, and it is always about theatre, so I know that deep down I still care about it really. I just don't most of the time. I think the problems I have been having with my voice the last couple of years have contributed to that. I started finding my singing lessons more and more frustrating, because my voice just wouldn't do what I wanted it to, and what it used to be able to do. In the end, about 18 months ago, I stopped having singing lessons - my singing teacher moved away, and I felt too bad about my voice to go to anyone else. I did try a couple of other teachers, just one lesson with each, but I felt embarrassed at how awful I sounded, and what they must be thinking of me, so I didn't go back. With one of the teachers, my voice literally cracked on every single note. I don't often sing now, and I don't know how I will ever get back to it. I am seeing a voice therapist now, who is hoping to be able to help to some extent, at least with my speaking voice. But I have been told by several people, including her, that my mental health problems are likely to be a large contributory factor to it - your voice is really delicate, and for some people any tension just goes straight to the voice. So I can't sing anymore. I have lost a large part of my identity with that. I have a lot of difficulty learning lines now, due to lack of concentration and motivation, so acting is a problem too, plus of course I have to use my voice when I am acting too. And even dance, which has always been my weakest of the 3 disciplines, has gone wrong, because of my shin splints coming back. They have been getting worse and worse, so they are now back to the stage when they are painful even when I am walking, and I can't jump at all. And I have no idea what has caused them this time. So overall, performing is really bad at the moment, and that has been my identity, my passion, my everything, for so many years. I feel like I have lost every sense of who I am now. Most of it went when I first started having problems with Depression etc, but now it feels like the remaining vestiges of who I am have disappeared. I am nobody. I am nothing. I have no skills. I have no talent. I have no personality. I am just an empty shell. And I can't live as an empty shell.

I am due to see L in 8 hours. I have this feeling she is going to cancel. I don't know why - I have no reason to think that whatsoever, except she did last week. I just have a feeling.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Top 20 Health Blogs Preview...

So, Wikio UK are adding a Health Blogs section to their site, and have asked me to do a wee preview of it before it goes live on Monday. They have lots of Top Blogs on various topics already, such as Fashion, Sport, Culture etc etc, and are adding a Health section to this. All the blogs they include are from the UK or Ireland, and the ratings are updated monthly. The rankings are 'based on backlinks: so the position of a blog depends on the number and weight of incoming links from other blogs. Only links found in the RSS feed are included and blogrolls are not taken into account. The weight of any given link increases according to how recently it was published' (technical quote that I have stolen from the nice people at Wikio). So anyway, their current, and first, Top 20 Health blogs are listed below. It is nice to see the Madosphere so well represented, with lots of Mental Nurse TWIM regulars included, and of course the wonderful Mental Nurse itself topping the list! Hopefully the Health section will grow in the way that others seem to have, and it will become a good place for finding new blogs to read - if you wish to submit your own blog then you can do so here.

1.     Mental Nurse
2.     Lake Cocytus
3.     Confessions of a Serial Insomniac
4.     Random Acts Of Reality
5.     Bah! to cancer
6.     Pole to Polar: The secret life of a manic depressive
7.     Writing in the margins of my mind
8.     Frontier Psychiatrist
9.     Purple Noise
10.   Bippidee
11.   Aethelread the Unread
12.   Madsadgirl
13.   Bipolar Mo
14.   ...My little corner of the net to talk about...
15.   A Tangle of Weeds
16.   Guardian Society: Sarah Boseley's global health blog
17.   Life in the NHS
18.   Militant Medical Nurse
19.   Fergus's Medical Files
20.   Weight Loss Blog
Ranking by Wikio

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Happy Birthday to me :P

Well I can safely say that was the worst birthday I have ever had. I never enjoy birthdays, but that was incredibly hard. We had to leave at 8am, so I was absolutely exhausted as that meant getting up at 7, and I don't usually get to sleep until 2 or 3 hours before that. The funeral itself was fine I suppose, or as much as funerals ever can be. Obviously it was upsetting, because funerals always are. It was also really difficult, because throughout the day people were saying how much of a shock his death had been because he seemed to be doing alright, and was physically fairly healthy, or as much as he ever was. I couldn't stop thinking that it was my fault, and that the reason it was so unexpected was because he shouldn't have died, and wouldn't have if it hadn't been for me. So that was really difficult having that constantly rolling through my head. And funerals always make me think about my own funeral too, and really ramp up the suicidal thoughts. When we came out from the funeral I wandered off by myself for a while whilst everyone was talking, I just needed to be by myself. So that was all hard, but pretty much what I had expected.

Then we went back to the bungalow. I said I was staying in the car. My parents tried to persuade me to go in, but I really didn't want to, so I stayed in the car and lay down on the back seat, as I figured I may as well try and get some sleep in. I vaguely wondered if I would die if I stayed in the car long enough, as it was so hot, but decided I probably wouldn't, or it would be a pretty common suicide method. After about half an hour (I think) one of my cousins came out and asked if I was going to come in, and I said that I didn't  want to, and she said that lots of people were sitting out in the garden so I could do that, so I said I didn't want to then, but maybe would later so that she would leave me alone (I am a bitch, yes). A while after that my mum came back out and made me go back with her, although I still didn't want to. It wasn't too bad I suppose. I sat and talked to people, but I felt really uncomfortable and I just wanted to get home. There was also loads and loads of food there, and I ate a lot more than I felt comfortable with. I really wanted to purge, but that obviously wasn't an option, so I just had to sit there feeling horrible about it. My mum had said in the end yesterday that we would stay a couple of hours and then go. Seemingly a couple in her language means over five. I was quite upset by that, because she knew I hadn't wanted to go there, she knew I hadn't wanted to stay, she had told me we would stay a couple of hours and then go, and we ended up not leaving until about 5:45, which just made me feel like what I wanted and felt was being completely ignored.

We got home about 8 and I felt like complete shit - I think a combination of funerals always being upsetting, feeling personally responsible for this one, always disliking birthdays, having such a shit birthday, feeling let down by my parents over how long we would stay afterwards, being tired, feeling crap about what I had eaten, usual low mood, and suicidal thoughts. I came straight upstairs to my room. My mum asked if I wanted to go downstairs and open my cards and presents (she seized the opportunity to go into town for an hour when I had a voice therapy appointment the other day, but said there is nothing very interesting!), but I said that I didn't want to - I had had a crap day and would rather leave it until tomorrow. My parents then both said that my day hadn't been that bad, and that I had quite enjoyed myself some of the time. That made me really bloody angry. For a start, I hate it when people assume they know what you are thinking and how you are feeling. I have spent the entire day feeling like shit and wanting to cry - I am still feeling like that now and we have been home for 5 hours. And it also pissed me off because I hate the way they assume that if I am smiling or chatting or something then that means I am happy. They know damn well that I often hide how I am feeling, and they knew that I had said all along that I didn't want to go back to the house after, that I was very uncomfortable with it, that I didn't want to stay long, etc, and so them saying that I had enjoyed myself made me so angry. Particularly from my mum, who always claims she can tell how I am feeling even if I am trying to hide it - I always say that she has no idea, which is shown time and time again, and I think today has proved that yet again. I have a sum total of 3 cards - how popular am I?! I could tell by the writing on the envelopes when they arrived who they were from - one is from my friend A, another is from one of my brothers, and then the third is from my parents. Considering I have 2 other siblings, other friends that I send cards to, and saw a lot of family today I think that is a particularly low number. It isn't about the number of cards really. Well in a way it is, because cards show that people are thinking of you enough to send a card, and that they care. It sounds stupid and like a big overreaction, but it makes me think how few people would actually miss me if I wasn't here. I am being self absorbed and whiny, so I will go to bed now I think. I am exhausted - I think mostly emotionally.

Thursday, 1 July 2010


I am ridiculously stressed about tomorrow. It is just too much. Every time I think about it I get so anxious and upset. My parents aren't being very helpful. Well my mum really, I haven't talked about it much to my dad because he is busy trying to write a eulogy. But my mum knows how stressed and upset I am about going back to the bungalow after the funeral, and I have asked how long they are planning to stay there (I have said that I am not going in and that I will sit in the car and wait - I can't deal with going inside) and she said she didn't know. I asked for a vague approximation. She said she didn't know, and that we couldn't rush off. I need to know how long it is going to be for. If I know how long it is then I can sort it out in my head and plan accordingly. I hate uncertainty. She just said not to forget to take Diazepam with me.

I keep crying. I don't want my birthday. I don't want to go to a funeral. I don't want to spend 5+ hours in the car going to and from the funeral. I don't want to be here. I wish more than ever that I had killed myself a few weeks ago. I came so close to it, and I wish so much that I had done it. I am feeling completely overwhelmed and panicked and horrible. I would do anything to just be able to disappear right now and not be here.