Posted in Blog, Mental Health

Heroes (Mental Health)

Tonight I want to talk about role models.

 

With the “collapse of Hollywood” amongst the sex scandals, it’s occurred to me that I’ve placed a HUGE amount of heroism and idolism into mere humans, who I once used to see as so much more than humans: Alfred Hitchcock was the reason I decided to study film, and why I place so much value in it as an artform, even to this day. Orson Welles, David Lynch, Wes Anderson, Francis Ford Coppola….

 

It wasn’t until my early twenties that I began to take notice of women in Hollywood, and I suppose this was because previously, I had been looking for a father-figure – somebody to look up to.

 

My sister and I found that in the actor Tom Hanks. Even in his younger roles like Big and Bachelor Party, we still saw the “dad” we needed in him, and the older he got, the more drawn we were to him. It never seemed to occur to us that we were drawn to his characters and not him as a person. However, the way he handled the difficult situation with his son Colin only fuelled the fantasy, and again it never occurred to me that this might have all been a PR spin in order to protect his reputation.

 

So imagine my heartbreak when I saw Tom Hanks’ name trending on Twitter alongside Matt Damon’s earlier a couple of weeks ago. We all know how Matt Damon feels about sexual harassment, so when I saw that name trending, my heart immediately sank because I knew that it couldn’t be good news… and it wasn’t.

 

I found a link of Tom Hanks being interviewed on CNN (which appears to have been removed now), “mansplaining” assault, and claiming to not have known anything about Weinstein’s alleged behaviour, however the way in which he places emphasises on the word “alleged” is incredibly shady. In another interview for the Metro newspaper, he then criticises Netflix’s decision to drop Kevin Spacey and claims that the company will go bust if they continue to act upon accusations.

 

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=newssearch&cd=11&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjXm9CO9JbYAhUoI8AKHTcCDJc4ChCpAggmKAAwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmetro.co.uk%2F2017%2F12%2F13%2Ftom-hanks-calls-patience-judging-alleged-hollywood-abusers-7155153%2F&usg=AOvVaw3078wNtH8Xb2UE8fmt1a4K

 

My partner and I have spoken about the fact that I place too high expectations upon people, that I expect people to be perfect, which is why I’m always let down. But I constantly dispute this.

I just expect people to have fucking morals, and to treat people the way that they would expect to be treated.

 

And I also place my trust in the wrong people…. Parents…. Siblings….. Male celebrities…..Maybe just the human race in general….

-what-meme-41709

 

However, if you place your trust in the right people, you can then trust yourself and your own judgement. This is partly what your formation years are for, and how you then become a “mentally stable adult” who perhaps doesn’t place their trust in arsehole rapist sexual predator men, but in themselves.

Now if you look at my Twitter account, it’s full of Females, not only because I’m gay, but also because when you support the right people, you get “fed the right food”…

 

Ava DuVernay – Black, female director and activist who is incredibly artistic and has the biggest heart for Black females. I look up to her like the big sister I never had.  

Kelechi Okafor –  Black, female actress and founder of her own Fitness Studio, who daily inspires me with her activism. I actually discovered her when I was first suspended and would just spend my days stalking her on Twitter (LOL). I eventually got to meet her at the end of the summer, to tell her what a profound effect she’d had on mental health. She also taught me to speak up for myself; after spending nine months in an institution, surrounded by white people where I was forced to keep silent, I’d lost my voice and Kelechi’s tweets taught me how to speak again.

Tobi Oredein – Black, female journalist, who created Black Ballad as a platform for talented Black journalists to be published and be paid for it. I’d never seen this before I encountered Tobi on social media. And to know Tobi, is to understand her passion for Black, talented people and their struggle in the creative world, because it’s a fucking struggle to be heard. Black Ballad is so beautiful and full of such inspiration.

Izin Akhabau – Black, female journalist and was the youngest ever reporter for BBC News. Izin has been by my side virtually all summer. At first, we became connected because she wanted me to write a piece for her, however we became close during my mental breakdown and she came through for me BIG TIME. She’s also writes for Black Ballad and is starting her own online platform, so keep your eyes peeled.

Terry Crews – actor and recent activist for sexual harassment in Hollywood. I’m so glad I no longer know him from just being this dude from the “White Chicks” movie (which is awful by the way, don’t even get me started), to being the Big Black Man who started a wave in Hollywood. LEGEND. 
All of these people in their own ways, have taught me to be myself.

Self Care

I made a decision that I was going to subscribe to a magazine, and after “shopping around” for a few months, I made the decision to go with Pride and I’m so happy I did: their features on hair, music (I have a new separate playlist just from new acts I’ve discovered from Pride Magazine alone!), current Black culture etc is so fulfilling.

It’s great to just read in the bath when I need a break from social media, Netflix or studying.

It’s funny, I was talking to my best friend about the “Tom Hanks situation” and it seems I’m not the only person within the Black community to be disappointed in him and it’s because we gave him a seat at the table, as an honorary black man, which is so true. My sister and I definitely used to see him as black dad. But in retrospect, how could we all have been so foolish? He could never empathise with us as a “dad” if he’s not the same skin colour – it’s sad but it’s true.

When I messaged Tobi an appreciation message before the end of the year, in her reply she explained that Black Ballad had come from a time of brokenness for her, where she herself had lost dreams and friends, and this came from a place where she could empathise with my struggle because as a young Black female, she knows what it’s like to be hurt over and over again, not only by the people you look up to, but also by the people you trust.

XOXO

Posted in Blog

Coming Out

Last weekend I came out to my family – my uncles – with my partner by my side.

My sexuality is something that I’ve been struggling with since a very young age (possibly around the age of ten years old), and something I didn’t want to admit to myself or to anybody outside of myself, especially growing up within a Black Caribbean Christian home. My mother and I had often had heated conversations about homosexuals (not me), which had often left me in tears while she aggressively quoted scripture at me. I knew what was right and I definitely knew how she felt.

I remember in my second year of University, one of my best friends and also my housemate gave me a ride home during one holiday, and my mother clocked him and decided that she “didn’t like him because he looked gay” and she didn’t want him back around her house again.

He wasn’t gay. My mother was just a religious, homophobic bitch.

Having attended a Catholic school, my friends were all religiously straight, including my best friend of sixteen years. We’d also spoken about homosexuality; I’d mentioned my celebrity girl crushes, however I always did so in jest… Rihanna, Julia Roberts, Drew Barrymore, Helena Bonham Carter,.. and my friend would call me a massive lesbo. I would also secretly check out girls. The guys I fancied in real life were quite androgynous looking and very unobtainable – there would always be a reason why I couldn’t have them, and I think I secretly wanted that.

However, when I met my current partner, a transgender girl, I could no longer deny my sexuality. In her I met my best friend and the most beautiful girl in the world. When we first met, I didn’t know that she was trans, but when I found out, the first person I wanted to tell was my oldest friend, who I naively hoped would be able to see beyond her religious upbringing and understand that up until now, my happiness had been compromised, because I was finally starting to accept my sexuality.

But she couldn’t accept it. I’m not sure if she was more freaked out about my coming out, or my dating a transgender woman, but my oldest friend couldn’t deal with it. We last spoke in June, which is when I told her and we haven’t spoken since. This broke my heart.

I also told another close friend – the one who I invited round for dinner and although she seemed to react supportively to this news, she was suddenly opinionated about my future career plans in a negative way, then blamed me for not receiving her opinions. And we haven’t spoken since. However, it was such a bizarre scenario that I think it was a reaction to my coming out.

Friends seem to treat it as a personal affront when you come out, especially when you’ve had previous relationships with the opposite sex. I felt like both friends were accusing me of lying because I’d had relationships with guys, and for also having not been completely upfront about my feelings. But when you’re struggling with your sexuality, the only person you really trust is yourself. Plus these were my most religious friends – I was hardly going to run to them with my struggles!

I have been frightened to tell anybody close to me since – most importantly my uncles and cousins. Friends you can replace, however family has come to mean everything to me again, especially after being so let down before by other family members.

 

What if they were repulsed?

What if they didn’t understand?

What if they didn’t want to understand?

What if after all of these years, I lost them again?

 

I told my cousins separately first, who were so warm and receiving. However, they are younger than me, and therefore a hell of a lot younger than their dads!

One scenario on constant replay in my mind, was the one uncle whose house I was going to for Christmas would be so disgusted that he would retract his invitation (well actually I invited myself) and I’d have nowhere to go for Christmas Day!

Last Sunday was the day… I was so stressed that I could barely eat breakfast. The Jubilee Line from Finchley Road to Stratford was as packed as a Black Friday trolley and I nearly threw up. I had the stupid idea to ask them all to guess what the announcement might be, to break the tension that only I seemed to be feeling LOL, which actually just built up the moment even more for me. But I did it and I also told them about my partner.

They were all so embracing, it was unreal.

 

I had a seizure during the meal and spilt tea all over myself. But I came out!

 

Homosexuality within Black culture is definitely a conversation that is transforming, especially amongst the older generation and that’s thanks to the younger generation bringing it up with their parents and getting them to talk about it. Two of my uncles who had had conversations with their daughters (my awesome cousins), both said that the conversations have stayed with them and that it had really opened up their minds to some new ideas. These two uncles in particular are older than the third and were teenagers in the 60s, which was a completely different world, where you couldn’t speak about things like this.

When my partner – who is German – was relaying her experiences with transphobia back home and how homosexuality is still regarded by some as a Mental Health condition, my uncles could understand this, because in the 60s, 70s and for some of the 80s, this was the mindset towards homosexuality in UK too, until the explosion of pop culture, with the New Romantics, and pop figures like Boy George and George Michael helped to break the stigma.

We also talked about the stigmatism of homosexuality back home in the Caribbean – particularly Jamaica, where according to my Uncles the times are changing; it’s the people who have to change with the times, which is usually the case with prejudice and discrimination.

I feel for the men and women back home, I really do. I wonder if the prejudice against homosexuality is more to do with power, (because antagonists like to hold authority over their prey) than it is to do with thoughts and feelings on what anybody is actually doing with their bodies.

My mother never gave a damn about what people did with their bodies anyway. She seemed to thrive on the power of religion and judgement.

 

Anyway, all I’ve ever wanted is to be loved unconditionally, and last weekend I realised that I’ve always had it and I always will. I loved it when my partner said to me that in my uncles I now also have three dads. 

It’s an incredible feeling.

And I have come out to a couple of other friends who have been incredibly supportive of both me and and my partner.

It’s great to finally be me.

Gay

 

XOXO

Posted in Blog, Mental Health

Friendship – Check Please

I want to talk about friendship and when you allow the boundaries to be overstepped, in the sake of friendship, how many times, before it all becomes too far?

I’m a good friend, I build people up, I see their insecurities and I use that to encourage them. I guess lately because of my state of Mental Health I’ve expected the same back from my friends, however the reason why my circle of friends has diminished is because I haven’t gotten this back.

One of my best friends came over to my place last weekend, it was the first time we’d seen each other in about a year but we speak on the phone almost every weekend. I was extremely excited, I cleaned the flat and I cooked. When she came, my partner and I showed her around as it was the first time she’d seen the flat.

She spent a lot of time on her phone, but I also still had to finish up dinner…

She didn’t show as much enthusiasm for my Wall of Black Magic (my pride and joy), as I thought she would. But then, you can’t expect everybody to share your passions…

Wall of Black Magic

She made inferences about my not being “woke” enough and she’s always done this, because I’ve always had interracial relationships, however now it was really starting to touch a nerve, because of everything I’m doing on social media to raise awareness for Black Mental Health.

There were also inferences like, because I don’t wrap my hair at night, while watching “Girls’ Trip”, I’m therefore not properly Black. Perhaps it was a joke, but because of everything else that had happened, I didn’t find it funny, because taking 14 pills a day leaves me too exhausted to know my own name, let alone remember to wrap my fucking hair every night.

Which brings me to the real dagger of the event: we were discussing my plans for once I finish my MSc in two or three years time. Currently, my partner and I are discussing the option of my working part-time as a therapist with ethnic minorities, while also pursuing the option of working in Cultural Psychological Research part-time, perhaps a part-time PhD.

My friend felt that because of my health issues, I shouldn’t have contact with people and that perhaps, advocacy would be the best option for now. Not two or three years from now. Now.

I challenged her about this, by saying that we don’t have enough people of colour in therapy, plus we’re not talking about now, but two or three years time, however she still disagreed. I also challenged her by saying that research is incredibly stressful, especially for people with mental health issues – my other friend is doing a PhD and her supervisor is unforgiving, plus just look at the challenges I’m facing with research at MSc level.

But then I’m crazy, what do I know? And too disabled.

I messaged her about it the next day and she backtracked, saying that she claimed that she thought we were talking about my plans for now.

But you asked the question: what are my plans for after?

She still stood by her opinion however, and although I don’t have to take her opinion (which I told her that I won’t), she only wants the best for me.

My theory is that she also wants to be a therapist, sometime in the future, therefore why not have people like me do all of the hard work in the field of research so that she doesn’t have to.

So it was a disappointing day, even little things: to not have seen a friend in a year and not compliment them on their appearance? And I know that I have to check myself here, because I waste way too much mental energy on shit like this, analysing the absence of compliments, ESPECIALLY when I have a partner who tells me how fucking hot I am every day!

And I don’t build my friends up to get something in return… I’m not building savings accounts to dip into whenever I need them 🤔 but the lack of validation from childhood still runs deep and my close friends know this. And with the absence of therapy/ access to therapy, Women of Colour need their friends to build them up.

For example, my weave is just one of the things that makes me feel more Black, so a compliment from my closest Black friend about my hair would’ve validated my Blackness.

Or at least given me some confidence, which I really need right now, which embarrasses me to admit…

Instead, although she ate the chicken I cooked for her, she picked at my rice and peas and made constant inferences on my “woke-ness”.

Now I just feel deflated.

There is a proverb about friendship:

“One finger cannot hold up a thing”

which illustrates the need for others in our lives. Relationships can be communal or exchange; communal relationships benefit the well-being of the people within the relationship, like a community; exchange relationships are where people give benefits with the benefit that they will receive comparable benefits in return.

While writing this post, I also spoke to another friend who said that sometimes you just have to shut the door and keep the world on the outside of that door, with you and your partner alone on the inside. Close friendships are great, but there’s nothing like a great partnership and it’s you two against the rest of the world.

XOXO

Posted in Blog

Sisters

When things began to fall apart in my career and my personal relationships, I decided that I wanted to seek out new friendships but I was mindful about what type of person I was looking for.

As a disabled person of colour, I’m a double negative minority and the people I was surrounding myself with were not getting that, which was why we were falling out.


I needed sisters of colour around me.


There were actually some sisters that I already knew and I just drew closer to them. They saw me hurting and didn’t even wait for me to come, they just reached out and rang; For example one of them, I hadn’t even seen or spoken to in seven years, reached out on social media after seeing everything I’d been through. When we finally spoke on the phone the other day it was like we’d been talking every day! We’re making plans to meet up soon and we’ve been keeping in touch on WhatsApp.

One sister, I call my little sister. She has been with me through thick and thin. We’ve known each other for years; she was there through the heartache with my family. We started Teacher Training together and we were supposed to make it to the finish line together. She stood by me while my childhood best friend disappeared and I continued to cheer her on regardless of my own situation. Now she’s an NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) and we talk on the phone for hours about my woke-ness (she prayed for it!) most weekends and I listen to her tales of teaching teenagers (which I surprisingly don’t miss! LOL). She bought her first car this weekend and I am SO PROUD of her. I can’t drive, you’d think I’d be jel right? Heck no! She saved up for the car, bought it herself ❤️


And then there’s my Bumble Bestie; I just cannot believe I met a sister through a frickin’ app! And one I have so much in common with! Music, art, film, fashion, politics. We’re both in interracial relationships, therefore we both understand the struggles of becoming woke after falling in love and therefore the emotional battle of being constant educators; We both also had very similar traumatic childhoods, almost parallel. I do not think I could longer go a day without talking to her.


I’ve realised that in life, you really do need friends that you can connect with and relate to. It means so much for your self-concept. Before, I was so lonely that I would surround myself with anybody and I would call these people my best friends but they didn’t know me. They didn’t know when I was really happy, sad or really suffering.


Now I have friends I can go to when I’m feeling suicidal because I’ve had multiple focal onset seizures all afternoon and can’t get out of bed.

Or when my partner has accidentally said dumb shit about structural racism and thinks I’m overreacting to his comments.

Or when I’ve been able to go for a jog for the first time in a year.

All of my sisters are with me for all of my seasons. 


Posted in Blog

Label #3: Racist

“I’m a realist, I’m a romantic, I’m an indecisive piece of….” – I’m a Realist (The Cribs)

 

“She looked out into the quiet, sunny streets, and for the first time in her life, she hated it all – the white city, the white world. She could not, that day, think of one decent white person in the whole world” (p.201)

Go Tell It On The Mountain – James Baldwin

 

When I was suspended, I began to hate all white people.

 

My partner is white, I have white friends, so I’m not a racist.

 

That’s what all racist people say, right? We all know one person of the opposite colour to us, so that makes us safe. Not racist, right?

Hmmm

 

But see, I’d grown up around white folk, and ingratiated myself into white society, to the point where I actually identified myself more as a white person, than a person of colour. Every school we’d attended as kids, my sister and I had been the only kids of colour.

 

We didn’t know how to be black.

 

When we moved to London when I was ten years old, and again when I was in my late twenties, black people could see how much I stood out, like a cut open coconut in a crowd of a closed bunch.  

 

I don’t even talk like a black person; so many people have told me that I sound “white” on the phone. I remember the first time I heard myself actually: when I returned home from my travels in South East Asia and Australia; my mum had kept all of my insanely long diary-entry style answer phone messages, which I listened to. Listening to those messages, it didn’t sound like I was listening to Posh Spice.

Posh Spice

 

Most of the people I idolised growing up were white: Ian Curtis, Marilyn Monroe, Debbie Harry, Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood, Phil Collins, Kurt Cobain…

 

I was only attracted to white boys as an adolescent, even when I was faced with rejection. I’d just move onto the next one. It never dawned on me that their rejection could be because of the colour of my skin, or that a boy welcoming me into his bed was down to racial fetish only, and not because he actually fancied me.

 

At the school, during my teacher training, I think I was so shocked at the racism, because I really thought that I was one of them, regardless of the microaggressions. At every microaggression, I was in denial; I was so desperate to become a teacher I chose to ignore every single one anyway, until it was too late. And then in the dark haze of my depression, it became so arduous to separate the good from the evil – so I made it simple: black became good and white evil.

 

Black was good, because of my friends, my extended family and “Black Twitter”, which became my safe haven, as well as my source of black education as I became woke.

 

White was bad, because of the school, and the university. And the world.

 

What did this mean for my relationship?

 

… Confusion… Heartache. 

 

… I also have white people in my extended family – I’ve known them for my entire life….

 

… I have white friends who have stood by me, stuck out their necks for me…

 

… Come on ,Cece…

 

…They’re not all evil…

 

… You know this…

 

… Not all whites are white supremacists Cece….

 

See, this may all sound crazy to you. But ALL OF THIS WAS GOING ON IN MY HEAD. 

 

Why shouldn’t this be easy for me? You might be thinking?

But not only was I heartbroken, my soul was destroyed, my dreams were crushed; my mental state was obliterated.

I’ve recently finished reading James Baldwin’s Go Tell It On The Mountain, and he describes poignantly, how in heartbreak,  even after the heart has healed a soul can be left behind:

“Men spoke of how the heart broke up, but none spoke of how the soul hung speechless in the pause, the void, the terror between the living and the dead;… the soul remembered, the heart sometimes forgot… Only the soul, obsessed with the journey it had made, and had still to make, pursued it’s mysterious and dreadful end; and carried, heavy with weeping and bitterness, the heart along. (p.203)”

 

This book was published in 1953, and I’d never had anybody describe my current condition so perfectly.

 

I was confused about my sudden aversion to white people, yet simultaneously it felt like I was thinking clearly for the first time in my life, because for years I’d been on the wrong side. I started listening exclusively to everything I could get my hands on, by Kendrick Lamar and channeling my anger through HIM, because that was the only way I could understand it. I was cry and shout in the shower to his lyrics. 

I started exclusively reading black literature, not only to understand my culture, but to also attempt to understand why white people hated me so much. Maya Angelou and James Baldwin became my surrogate grandparents.

 

I argue with white people on social media (I jest to my partner that it’s now my new full-time job), it seems now on a daily basis, who lack simple empathy, sympathy. I went to the same schools as these people, therefore I’m now beginning to deduce that racism is an upbringing issue. I would be friends with kids who were “safe” in school, but at home around their families or “other” friends, it was a completely different story. Anything goes. And now that we have social media, it’s a million times worse.

 

I’m now in a healthier state of mind, where I love and trust everybody in my life, regardless of the colour of their skin, because this learning process has truly has been a screening process of sorts.

After what I’ve been through, I’m now always going to be suspicious of every new white person I meet, and that makes me racist to you.

I don’t apologise for that.

There is no human race; we are not one human race. People who say that they do no see colour are liars/ in denial and need to wake up. We are divided and were born that way, I’ve seen that now. Up until these past few months, I really believed that my  affluent upbringing and accent, my education, my British passport and my love of indie music bought my a ticket into “white culture”. I was wrong. It means nothing to you. 

And that’s okay, because I’ve found a new dream so my heart will mend, but my soul will forever be bruised and battered by the whips and lashes and beatings it has taken – and will continue to take in this country because of the colour of my skin.

But I’m not going anywhere.

And again I won’t apologise.

I’m proud of my past, my present and now my future.

If being proud of me makes me racist, then hear me again: I won’t apologise. 

JB Black and Proud

Posted in Blog

We Hope You Choke

Some of you may remember my signing up to Bumble to find a new bestie, quite a few months ago.

Now, Bumble is generally known as a dating app, however you can also find friends on there. You can either sign up to find groups to hang out with, or just one person. 

Socialising in London is hard, and even more so when you’re training to be a teacher. 


You barely have any time to complete the constant redrafts of intervention spreadsheets, plus mentor meeting write-ups and lesson plans, let alone have a life outside of the school gates.


Anyway, imagine how tired people become of the excuses that you can’t “hang out” because of your job ON TOP of a chronic illness; people get bored of excuses,  which is why I decided to try out Bumble.


I met someone who seemed like a dream come true! She loved Radiohead and lived in my “endz”.


A match made in heaven I heaven! 

(I’m easy like a Sunday morning to please is seems.

And we actually did get on. She admitted that she’d clicked on me for the same reasons!)



I got suspended a few weeks after we started talking, so I had to tell her why I would now have loads of free time to meet up if she wanted to.


She instantly understood the racial microaggressions, whereas when I’d told other people, they’d made me feel like it was all in my head. 


I told her about my Epilepsy too and she didn’t even run away, like many other people did.


Unfortunately we’ve only been able to meet up once, mostly because of my health complications, but she has been there every step of the way.


Even though I’ve only met her once.


And she never blames me for everything that I’ve been through.


This person that I’ve met once, I feel closer to than some friends I’ve lost this year, and almost as close to as some of the friends who’ve stood by me this year. 


To find somebody in a lonely city like London, who you connect with on a cognitive and psychological level, is pretty rare. 


And a fucking blessing. ❤️


It’s incredible.


And to the people who’ve hurt us: 


“We hope that you choke.” 

Posted in Blog

My Survival

The key to my survival – Part One: my partner. 

For the first time in a while, I’m smiling, I’m dancing, I’m cooking (I love cooking), I’m reading, I’m listening to music and singing.

My partner’s been so patient with me, particularly while I’ve changed my mind AGAIN about my living arrangements. I’ve been so candid here on my blog, so I want to be more explicit on what happened during my psychotic episode which led me to want to live away from my partner.

I no longer felt safe around anybody, but particularly around the person I loved most in the world. I constantly felt paranoid and unsafe – everything he said triggered some kind of fear which now in the light of reason and medication, I can find no reason for.

All of this was because I was bullied in my job and when I eventually tried to stand up for myself, I was suspended. I had put EVERYTHING into this job and prioritised teaching over everything, including my health at times. When I was suspended, I felt like I had been left with nothing, because I knew I was going to lose my job and because of this, I tried to kill myself.  I put ALL of my value and self-worth in a vocation – a vocation I had grown up wanting to do and was more than qualified to do regardless of my colour, or where I grew up, even if I did have epilepsy.

They don’t work anyway right?

After my suicide attempt, the psychiatrist instructed me to stop taking the antidepressants I had overdosed on, because in his words: “They don’t work anyway right?” and in the midst of my brain fog, I agreed.

My GP thinks that the psychosis could’ve been caused by this; my epilepsy team think that the psychosis could’ve been caused by the postictal state from the grand mal seizure I had a week after my suicide attempt.

Whichever the medical cause, I will always know the people who caused this.

I wanted to die

On that night I took those pills, in that moment, I did really want to die and I really saw no other way out.

On that night, I’d also had an argument with my partner – in the weeks before we’d found the perfect home together, but with my career and now my relationship in the organ grinder, I felt that I had nothing left to live for. In my depressed state, I guess I overreacted about the argument, however this was a BIG argument.

I didn’t say much, in fact I think I’d already taken the pills when my partner came into the bedroom to get a quilt to sleep on the sofa. But then as I felt myself drifting off, I sent him a message, telling him what I’d done and he saved me.

And we’ve been through every step of hell together.

We even broke up more than once and then finally for good, which lasted an entire day. However, thankfully, as I’ll go on to mention in part two of this post, I had some friends to counsel me in my darkest time when I found it difficult to make sense of what was going on in my own head, because even when I have wanted to die, simultaneously I’ve never had somebody by my side cheerleading for me to live so loudly.

Genie Cheerleader.gif

Which is why I’ve decided that the home we found together, is where we are going to live together.

Things were never easy for me
Peace of mind was hard to find
And I needed a place where I could hide
Somewhere I could call mine

Genesis – No Son of Mine

And I think I’ve finally done it…

The key to my survival – Part Two: I mustn’t forget my friends. 

The friends who have stood by me in my sickness and my madness, who haven’t even batted an eyelid that I’ve changed my mind about my partner so many times – during my bad times, I must’ve told them some crazy things about him, only to find out a week later that it was all down to psychosis and they didn’t even mind, because they loved him so much and were just ecstatic that we were back together! Furthermore, the security of knowing that they know me well enough, to know when I’m not myself and when I am, brings me so much peace.

The love has been unreal!

I’ve also made some incredible new friends via social media, who again have been with me every step of the way. My job was making me feel intensely lonely – a loneliness I hadn’t felt since my teens and I did some reaching out, while some even did some to me which saved me. I’m still finding it an unrelenting feat to trust people, so the fact that these people have broken past my barriers speaks volumes.

Hugs

I’ll be forever thankful xoxo

The key to my survival – Part Three: My Amazing Three Uncles. 

I rarely see them. My mum completely cut off all communication with them when we were younger and to this day, I still don’t fully understand the reasons why because when we were younger, my uncles were the fathers my sister and I never had. When I moved to London and just before I stopped talking to my mum and sister, I reached out to my oldest Uncle and since then, even though I rarely see them (especially since I started Teacher Training), I talk to my three uncles via Whatsapp or on Facebook. My youngest uncle in particular surprised me because after my suicide attempt, concerned about my cryptic Facebook updates, he phoned me and has been a shoulder to cry on since. I’m a hard nut to crack and I really didn’t realise how much so until this whole experience, but he REALLY cracked me. I loved him so much more for that.

I’m not fully recovered yet – I’m not sure how long it will take, or if I’ll ever get there. All of these components: love, friendship, mentoring, support have all been empowering towards the healing of my mental health.

I know that I’m never going to be the same person that I was a year ago… I’m forever changed and that girl is forever gone. It’s sad because I never got a chance to say goodbye to her. However I’m looking forward to this new journey: moving into my new home, seeing where this new unplanned future takes me and learning to live every day as it comes.