You fancy me mad

Writer & Editor – 21 – LDN

Darling, darling, your head is a mess…

I’ve done it again. That is, I’ve made the same mistake for the thousandth fucking time, under the alcohol-induced illusion that there are no consequences to my stupid actions, that I am not hurting anyone, that nobody will hate me in the morning. That, “It’s fine! I’m 21 years of age, I’m single for the first time in years, I’m beautiful and men hang off my every word and of course they’re not using me, but it is I who is using them and everything is fucking glorious so let’s get another tequila!”

I don’t know what hurts more and I can’t decide which is worse:
A) That, sometimes, I know what I’m doing, or
B) that, sometimes, I can’t remember what I’ve done.

I can’t remember most of what happened on Friday night. I know that I upset my dad on his birthday because of my drunken behaviour. I know that he told me to stop drinking and go home. I know that I ignored him and carried on drinking. I know that something happened in a car park behind a pub, and I know who I was with. Blackout. I remember him telling me to be quiet. Blackout. I know whose bed I woke up in. I remember nothing else. I don’t know what happened.

I am irresponsible and impulsive and my behaviour is dangerous. I am going to try to have a sober-ish week and spend time with my niece and nephew, the little angels who give me reason to live. My sleep is awful and I don’t know who I am or what’s going on. I don’t know what day it is. I wish I cared. I wish I didn’t care.

I crept out of his house just after 7am and commenced the walk of shame, through the frozen streets back to my mother’s block. When I got in, I changed my clothes and caught my reflection in the mirror. I looked like a little girl. Pale, skinny, hurt, fragile, scared. I didn’t recognise myself. I looked at myself for a long time. My hair that was cut haphazardly with the kitchen scissors, last night’s makeup smudged under my eyes, the lovebite on my neck, the cuts that have formed on my lips as a result of biting them when nervous. My skin was so white but my scars were even whiter, standing out on my shaking arms. My breasts ached but so did my head.

I looked so tiny under the huge t-shirt I wore to bed. A child. Daddy’s little girl. I pushed my hair back over my shoulder and looked at the logo printed on the breast. The shirt was made for my dad, by his friends, to celebrate his 45th birthday. He was 66 on Friday. And I fucking fucked it up by caring more about drinking, dancing and cocaine kisses with a married man than I cared about making sure my dad enjoyed what will probably be his last birthday and making sure he got home safely. Fuck. That’s not the person I thought I was and that’s not the person that I want to be but I am terrified that I can’t stop it.

Needless to say, I hate myself. My behaviour is inexcusable, even if it’s only a product of BPD and not representative of my true self, it still fucking sucks and has to stop. I really can’t stand to look at myself. I want to hurt myself. But I think I’ve done enough damage already.

I’m very confused about who I am. The beautiful little girl with all the potential and a bright future still lives in me somewhere. But for the past year I have been an ugly, stupid manifestation of all the things I hate to see in other people. And, being some sort of failed Manic Pixie Dream Girl New-Romantic mess, I glamourise it. I fucking revel in the prospect of being the Other Woman, having my drink spiked or running on the train tracks, because wow that’ll be a funny story to tell in the pub. But it’s not funny anymore. It’s sad and I want it to stop. But I just can’t. I disgust myself. Who am I? What the fuck has happened to me. I am devastated at what I’ve become. I can’t even think. I can’t think.

Time for quetiapine dreams. X

Oliver

Last night I went to a pub which I have not been to for over a decade. I was waiting for my dad outside, having a cigarette and could feel eyes on me. I was aware of some guys also smoking outside the pub but got all nervous because I’m unfamiliar with the place and its punters.

After a few minutes, I heard a man behind me call my name. It was Russell, who is lovely and has a nice dog, who I know from the other local boozers. He asked me what I was doing loitering on the street and told me to come in to the warm. I was, at that precise moment, too nervous to just go into the pub, and also I didn’t want to sit with him and hear about his divorce or how music will never be as good as it was in the seventies. I thanked him but said I’d wait for my dad outside, in case he needs help walking. Russ coaxed me up the stairs and turned the outdoor heater on for me, and so I lit another ciggie and avoided eye contact with my intimidating fellow smokers.

Oi…Aren’t you R.L’s missus?

Ex. I’m his ex missus.

Yeahhhhh, I thought I recognised you.

Brilliant. I literally cannot go anywhere in this town without his ghost following me. The chav that was talking to me had barely any teeth so he spoke with a lisp, which made him seem significantly less scary. Upon closer inspection, I recognised him too. He’d given me drugs once. And I think he owes me a fiver. Then his girlfriend came outside:

Oh, hello you! I’m so sorry babe I’ve forgotten your name but you’re R.L’s ex, aren’t you?

Yep, unfortunately.

I’m sorry but, like, what actually happened with yous? I saw yous two one day, all over each other like you always were, and you were, like, the best couple in town, and then the next minute he’s got a picture kissing some bird on Facebook and I said to my mum, ‘That’s not his missus!’ And we were like oh my god.

Yeah, was totally out of the blue. He just got a new girlfriend off Tinder. Next thing I know I’ve lost my best friend, my home and my family, and she’s sleeping in the bed that’s still warm from when I was in it.

Oh my god, no way. What a prick. Apparently he’s buying her a house or summink. She looks like a fucking witch anyway. It won’t last.

I know.

Poor babe. Come indoors and sit with us, I’ve got my little boy in as well.

Aww what’s his name, was it Ollie or Bobby? Can’t remember..

Yeah Oliver, Ollie. Let’s go in, I’m freezing my tits off!

And so, I sat with this couple that I had said hello to a few times before but couldn’t remember their names and didn’t have their phone numbers or anything, but we knew each other enough. I’d looked after their kid once when they were out in the pub car park having a blazing row. I recognised 90% of the people in the place, mainly old boys who I know from other pubs. I sort of did a sweeping wave to everyone in the room as if I was the Queen of England.

There was still no sign of my dad and I didn’t want to sit with anyone in particular so I got a pint and played monster trucks on the floor with Ollie. He calls me Leila because he can’t pronounce my name. My dad arrived and we watched the first half of the Arsenal game. During half time, I went out for a cigarette and Ollie’s dad, the chav with a lisp, followed me. He was surprised I was single. He said he’s only with his lady because of their son. He asked if I’d like to go for a drink with him sometime, “just me and you.” I didn’t even reply, just threw my cigarette away and laughed in disbelief. I resumed monster truck races with Ollie. Then this 3 year old broke my heart.

Leila?

Yes, sweetheart.

What’s wrong?

What?! Nothing at all! Why do you say that?

Cos you look sad.

Nooo! It’s Christmas!!! Everyone’s happy at Christmas!

But you always look sad.

I didn’t even know how to respond so I just went into the ladies bathroom and shut myself in a cubicle. It was the same cubicle that I shut myself in over a decade ago, when I was last in that pub, when I also heard something that I didn’t want to hear, something that shocked me and made me cry. But I was 10 years old then and, after hiding in the toilets for over half an hour, my dad had to get one of the barmaids to go into the bathroom to coax me out with promises of crisps and cola. But I’m a big girl now, so I wiped my eyes, fluffed my hair and put on a smile and did not stop smiling for the rest of the evening, acting like my world was golden and that everything was so fucking orgasmically wonderful that I can’t help but beam rainbows at everyone.

Pretending to be happy is exhausting. But while playing monster trucks and eating pizza with a 3 year old boy and teaching him to say ‘Come on, Arsenal!!!’ I temporarily forgot that I’m sick. That I have an incurable disease which will probably be the death of me. That I have no money, no job, no home, no friends, no boyfriend. Pretending to be happy almost allowed me to convince myself that I am happy. My dad even said that smiling suits me. Being “happy” is weird, it feels unnatural to not be shrouded by melancholy. I guess I accepted the fact that I’m a cynical bitch who is desperately angry at the world, an eternal pessimist, a terrible Catholic, pushed to sin by my own selfish wants and needs, by drink, drugs and debauchery. But I forgot that I know how to act, and that being happy can be a performance. If others can do it then so can I. Yeah, cheerful is odd. I might try it more often.

And the rest is rust and stardust

My mouth tastes of blood. I drag my tongue over my teeth and taste the dirtiest copper pennies and this makes me feel uncomfortable. One of the meds that I’ve tried before made my mouth taste metallic, it was listed as a side effect, but I can’t remember which one and this annoys me. The taste of rust immediately makes me think of Lolita.

My car is limping, Dolores Haze,
And the last long lap is the hardest,
And I shall be dumped where the weed decays,
And the rest is rust and stardust.

So now all I want to do is get into bed and read Lolita but I can’t concentrate because of all the noise; the trains, the police sirens, the fucking lift going up and down, shaking the foundations of this sorry excuse for a home.

I have so many books to read that I don’t know where to begin. There are some books that I want to re-read but I should probably read the new ones first. Someone’s gifted me Patrick Hamilton’s Hangover Square and his trilogy Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky but I feel a bit daunted by them because I imagine that he writes like Joseph Conrad and I find his work to be draining at the best of times. My dad gave me Kleinzeit by Russell Hoban a few weeks ago and I still haven’t read it, despite it being under 200 pages in length. I have a dusty copy of How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain de Botton which I want to read, but I feel like I’ve had enough of him right now, having read his Essays in Love only last week. And I know that once I read it I’ll immediately want to dive into In Search of Lost Time which will consume me and then I’ll want to read it in French and get so wrapped up in it that all the other books on my list will be neglected.

image

Someone gave me this festive poinsettia yesterday. I think I've killed it already.

I’ve got a few ‘lighter’ books to read too, otherwise I don’t think I’d ever be able to leave the house or get anything done as I’d be too consumed by heavy lit. I’ve got Wintering by Kate Moses which is a novel based on the weeks preceding Sylvia Plath’s suicide so obviously I have to read this. I went to the Oxfam bookshop in Muswell Hill a couple of months ago and picked up Suskind’s Perfume, which I read immediately, and A Long Way Down by local literary hero Nick Hornby. I have been meaning to read it for several years but haven’t had the chance. It centres around the meeting of four strangers at North London’s most popular suicide spot on New Year’s Eve. And I believe that I know which suicide spot was the inspiration for this, and it is a spot that I used to visit often, so I am interested to see how he captures the strange atmosphere of that bridge. Hornby is consistently hilarious so I don’t think this book will be a trigger for me. If I begin to feel like it is then I will stop reading it. Finally I have Lucy English’s debut Selfish People which I discovered by accident when working on the contracts and rights for the book. It tells the story of Leah and Bailey and their ‘anarchic, totally destructive and out-of-control relationship.’ Which sounds all too familiar so deserves a read. I’ve just looked at my copy and it’s signed, how nice. Addressed to Laura, whoever she may be.

Then my books to re-read are:
Lolita by Nabokov
1Q84 by Murakami
The Golden Notebook by Lessing
A Clockwork Orange by Burgess
Dubliners by Joyce,
and Sophie’s World by Gaarder.

Then I’ve got unread books on my Kindle too, aaaaahhhhhh when will this list end?! These include:
Brass by Walsh
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Fowler
Frances and Bernard by Bauer,
and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage by Murakami.

I guess my sudden and unexpected unemployment is good. I am just going to lock myself indoors and ignore everyone and read all day and night, unless of course I am otherwise engaged in meeting with strange men and doing silly things because I no longer care about consequences. Blah blah blah. I have lots of new theories about my illnesses but I can’t write them right now because my brain is too busy processing the taste of blood.

This morning I woke up and I wasn’t traumatised by my dreams. For the first time in weeks, I couldn’t remember my dreams. This is brilliant news since all dreams prior to this have not been dreams but rather nightmares. Really fucking bad ones. I’m trying so hard to get some parts of my memory back and I’m reduced to tears when I think about how good my brain was before and how fucked up it is now, but sometimes it is nice not to remember. Sometimes, it is better to forget.

I’m going to start Wintering now because it’s set in December and Sylvia is suicidal and Ted is being an asshole and she’s struggling with her writing and the idea of being alive, and it is December now and I am suicidal and men are generally assholes and I’m struggling with my writing and the idea of being alive.

Happy Wednesday, darlin’s. X

Better This Way [EDIT]

Come here
We’ll eat jalapenos
out the jar
and sit in the dark
and pretend that the
world outside the window
is not broken beyond repair
and you can read
Byron to me
and I can be your
little coke whore
too much, too soon
too much
too much
is never enough
so we’ll go Bonnie
and Clyde on this town
Hold Up
the offie
Hold Up
the sky
we’ll rob them for candy
and sparkling wine
I imagine that
you taste divine
But you are not mine
You are not mine.

Psychiatric Assessment Patient Report

This came through my mail today, a CC from my new psychiatrist, addressed to the wrong GP.


The above patient was assessed today 25/11/14 re: history of bipolar illness with psychotic features plus further diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, currently in crisis.

Patient arrived on time for her appointment and was accompanied by community care coordinator, Clive. First impression: visible tremors (hands, legs), dark circles under eyes, underweight (?) In recent months following her relocation from Surrey (where she was a university student) back to her mum’s house she has escalated in symptomatology particularly of her personality disorder, with threatening overdoses, actively attempting suicide twice in 3 days, repeated calls to the DSU Crisis Line, requiring ambulances and hospital treatment, requiring police intervention and welfare checks and repeatedly stating that “nobody is helping her.” This has been precipitated by her having relocated and lost the support of psychiatric services in Surrey.

Has been uncooperative with CMHT staff during previous hospital admissions who have described her as aggressive. Upon recalling the fact that the patient was last seen by our services on 05/09/14 when she was escorted to Barnet A&E by police, the patient is shocked as she does not remember the incident at all. Patient believes that she was last in hospital sometime during the last week of July. Upon hearing that she was in A&E several times during August and September, patient demands to “see evidence” and reinstates that she cannot remember.

Refuses to discuss childhood in detail. Can gather patient has lack of appropriate housing, unstable relationship with mum, terminally ill father. Patient suddenly becomes angry and upset upon mention of her childhood. Does not know what help she wants from our services saying “You’re the fucking experts, you tell me what help I need.”

Patient has history of high and low mood swings. Depression diagnosed at 13 and began fluoxetine. Psychosis developed over teenage years as a result of drug abuse and dysfunctional lifestyle. Suspected hypomanic episode aged 16 garnered putative diagnosis of bipolar disorder in 2011. Patient has expressed severe memory problems since first suicide attempt by overdose in 2009. Assessed by DSU for psychosis aged 16 after she reported “an entity in her brain.” Patient states that this “entity” has not gone away and “will always live in my brain” although she says that it is “really not a problem”, and that her mood swings need to be addressed first.

Patient reports severe paranoia at all times, whether in her house, at work, in a social environment and particularly on public transport. Today she was ambivalent regarding suicidality and didn’t give a clear answer about the possibility of harming herself or others- answers were very cryptic and she expressed that her attitudes towards hurting herself or others are susceptible to change at any given moment. Highly self-destructive behaviour but clearly highly intelligent.

Patient’s current crisis has been precipitated by her relocation and loss of contact with psychiatric services in Surrey. I am hopeful that once she has been fully connected with our services here and been linked with a care coordinator, given the number of the Crisis Line and given regular appointments with her care coordinator, then the current crisis will abate. Hence, all of this is being arranged.

Current medication:
600 mg Lithium carbonate
375 mg Venlafaxine
120 mg Propranolol

Medication changes:
Commence Quetiapine 50mg. Patient has severe trouble sleeping and often seeks benzos from various medical staff and other patients. These should NOT be prescribed under any circumstance as her risk of addiction is high and her risk of overdose is high. In terms of night sedation, to increase the Quetiapine in 25 mg increments until adequate sedation is reached. She should notice a beneficial reduction in her paranoia at this level also, which would be an added benefit.

Changes to management plan:
Patient has been taken on by services here, has a care coordinator being appointed, given the number of the Crisis Line and been made aware of availability of Barnet A&E if required,

GP action required:
Medication review pending 02/12/14- it is at GPs discretion as to whether Lithium is increased or not. Also possibility of prescribing Procyclidine for tremors (?) NB benzos NOT to be prescribed under any circumstance. Annual physical and 3-monthly blood tests as usual.

Risk assessment:
Risk of harm to self = high. Risk of harm to others = medium. Other risks = highly self-destructive behaviour. Patient is currently being very promiscuous (has had contraceptive injection so pregnancy risk = low, but STD risk = high). Patient engages in generally dangerous behaviour with little regard for consequence. Strong evidence of alcohol abuse, possible drug abuse, excessive spending, breakdown of relationships, and employment instability.

Impression:
Dual diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and bipolar disorder with psychotic features.

Contingency plan:
If patient is in crisis: contact Crisis Team via telephone or contact GP or attend Barnet A&E department.
If urgent: contact CSRT (East) to arrange in-patient admission.

Date of next review:
3 months, scheduled for 17/02/15

Thank you for updating your record.


I’m not sure how I feel…………..

True Things About Me

I have officially been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

I do not know how I feel about this.

I have a new psychiatrist.

He said a lot of things which made sense.

I like him and I think I believe the things he says.

I have a new care team and they’re all nice people.

I have finished my job at the publishing house.

I start a new job as a managing editor at a content creation company on Thursday.

I am starting quetiapine tomorrow.

I am not looking forward to the side effects.

I am scared and tired and in pain but I am alive and that is good.

I really wanted to go to the Jack’s Lake today but I couldn’t face the walk.

Also, the girl who stole my life from me was standing across the road and I didn’t want to walk near her lest I batter her to death.

So instead I walked in the opposite direction and I spent the day at the library, writing and smoking.

I slept with another total stranger this weekend, that I picked up from a pub.

After he had fucked me in the back of his van he told me that was the first time he has ever cheated on his girlfriend of 8 years.

By pure coincidence, I met his girlfriend the next day.

She is amazing, so funny and cheerful and just lovely.

I am the worst kind of human.

I am scared and tired and in pain but I am alive.

My mood is very, very unstable.

I have been having strange dreams and they are troubling me because I just want someone to tell me what they mean and then make them stop.

I wake up in a bad state.

I have a doctors appointment tomorrow.

I have a hospital appointment on Tuesday with Clive and LC to work out a treatment and recovery plan.

I would like to see my niece and nephew.

I will get my blood test results tomorrow.

I don’t think Lithium is working anymore.

I watched a very nice French film this weekend.

I make mistakes and then I do not learn from them, but instead I repeat them.

I miss my brother.

I miss my freedom.

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