The decline

I’ve been staring at this blank text box for about half an hour now. I have so much to say but I am not sure how to write it.  There may be some jumping around as things come back to me at random.  At least at the moment.  I’ll try my best to edit it into a reasonable reading state though!

It has been a long time since I posted.  The usual reasons still apply but this time it has been a lot darkerMan with head in hands than ever before.  I warn you now.  There are a few triggering subjects within and some things that might shock my friends, family and some people reading this.  I feel I have to do this as a start to my recovery and today being a rare day (so far) for me to have the energy and mindset to do so, I thought I’d best get it down.

This post is likely to be long so please strap in for the semi wall of text and I am somewhat conflicted on posting it but I guess if you are reading this than my conflict is over!

At the point of writing this I have been off work for almost a month or maybe slightly longer.  I have had to take breaks before due to my mental health deteriorating but this time it hit me a lot harder than ever before. 

It started at a routine doctors appointment for something completely unrelated (I found a new mole and was concerned out it – turns out it was nothing.)  The doctor simply asked how things were since she knows my history and I lost it.  I broke down, began shaking and crying. At this point she decided it was time to get primary care involved to the extent that she booked me in with the crisis team the same night.  Vick called my brother (Andrew) who took me down to the appointment later that day.  I don’t remember a huge amount about the appointment other than regular visits by nurses were organised.

It is a slight blur for the days immediately after that.  It was like I was entering a dark tunnel without any thought or hope I was ever going to emerge.  I stayed in bed, when I did get up I didn’t get dressed and withdrew from everything.  During this time I also confessed to being dependant on pain killers.  I’d been taking them for a long time when I was feeling low.  They seemed to help and propped me up through the days and some nights.  I kept this from everyone.  Even denying I was addicted even to myself.  With help from Vick and the family, I started to come off them slowly.  Although I still think about them from time to time, I can stop myself.  At least at the moment.  I don’t think I can ever let my guard down though.

A few more days into this period, I can’t remember exactly when, I was having another sleepless night and the dark thoughts crept in. As they always do but this time I couldn’t shake them no matter what I did.  My mind continued to spiral around thoughts of feeling like a failure, feeling useless and an overwhelming sense of emptiness and helplessness.

It was at this point I decided I had enough.  I went downstairs and into the bathroom.  I dismantled a razor and began to cut my wrists.  I am not sure how long I was in there.  The world descended and everything was out of focus.  As the blood began to flow I felt a sort of release but as time went on I began to feel guilt.  Thoughts of leaving my wife and family behind crept in.  The battle began between the thoughts of “they will be better off without me as a burden” and “is this right?  can I do this to Vick?  is this selfish?”  More time passed and finally the thoughts that I was being selfish won the battle and I went into the bedroom and broke down.  

It must have been terrifying for Vick and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about how that has affected her and everything around me. Seeing me in that state, that broken and lost. I am ashamed of myself and will always be.

More days passed, blurring into one long day in my mind. Sleeping randomly, eating rarely (not without some prompting), withdrawing further into my shell.  Lost.  The doctor signed me off for a month during this time from work although I was not fully aware of it at the time. For me I was just thinking “I’m done.  I can’t do this any more.”

After a few weeks, I think, I began to feel better at least better than I was.  However, this past week I have been down again and thinking about the feeling I had when I cut myself. I remember it feeling somehow good. I began to think about doing it again and at this point I knew I was on the decline again. It is only today I have the energy to even think about this and what it might mean.  

I’ve been referred back to primary care and back onto the list for psychiatric care again.  I’m trying, I really am, but sometimes the energy is just not there.  I can feel myself draining now after putting all this down.

I’d like to end this by saying I’m sorry to everyone I’ve hurt during this time and also thank you to everyone who has been there for me.  It is overwhelming to think that so many people care.  I know that sounds stupid but in my mind I was alone.  Nobody could help me and I also didn’t want people to have the burden.

“I am bent, but not broken. I am scarred, but not disfigured. I am sad, but not hopeless. I am tired, but not powerless. I am angry, but not bitter. I am depressed, but not giving up.”

2 thoughts on “The decline”

  1. It breaks my heart to read this Lee you are my son I love you and will always be here for you you and your brothers are my world xxx

  2. Well done for being brave enough to open up so clearly, accepting there are issues and facing them head on takes guts not everyone can do that. Keep focusing on the good, Vick, your family and friends, you have a great team behind you and you will pull through – you are a very determined guy. All the very best mate Rog

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