Post Self Harm Paranoia

This post could be triggering for self harm and cutting.

Self Harm Awareness Ribbon

I can be pretty paranoid anyway, it’s something I’ve always lived with – like the insomnia – and different things set it off. It’s not nearly as bad as it used to be but now and then something still sets off the nerves along the back of my neck and up into the back of my mind and digs it back off again.

Nothing makes me feel more paranoid than when I accidentally cut myself or injure my arms in some way.

I always favoured my arms when it self harm. Nothing else gave me the same feeling as cutting my arms so I have a lot of scars, scars I do not hide. And while they are slowly fading (I don’t do anything to aid the healing/fading) they are on show and they are noticeable.

At least, I assume they are noticeable. It could be part of the paranoia as well.

As well as the scars being noticeable, people know I used to self harm. It’s not something I’ve hidden or kept secret for a long time now. So people know.

So I always assume that people assume that I’ve cut myself deliberately when I’ve got new cuts or scratches on my arms. I assume this and the story of what actually happened comes tumbling out like some terrible story I’ve made up to cover up the truth – that I’ve self harmed.

So here’s the story:-
So I was putting away the dry dishes on Tuesday, and on my knees putting saucepans away while wrestling with cats who wanted to get into the cupboard and somehow (the exact how is still a mystery) a glass fell off the draining board, hit the counter, smashed and rained glass down on me. And the horribly sharp shards of glass that fell on me cut and nicked my arm. Not badly – a couple of scratches, a couple of deeper cuts, a few nicks.

So, I found some plasters and covered up the worst bits and carried on with my washing up.

The thing is – if I had cut myself you would never have known I had done anything if I didn’t want you too. I’m really good at hiding things. Been doing for a long time. But I panicked at work and the above story came out in a rush, randomly, as if to explain it away so they wouldn’t think I had cut myself. Because I don’t want people thinking I have cut myself when I haven’t. Because I don’t want people to think I’ve had a slip, that I’m struggling, that I’m not well – when I am well and I am coping.

The cuts are healing nicely. Actually, I think my allergic reaction to the plasters I used was worse than the cuts. The fact that they are healing so well says a lot about the fact they are accidental, though that’s not very obvious to the outsider.

Or really to anyone that isn’t me.

Hiding cuts usually means they don’t get the air they need to heal – a lot of my cuts got infected over the years just from being covered up so much or from getting fluff and stuff in them from the sleeves of my tops.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is – please don’t assume every cut is done on purpose. I’m actually really bloody clumsy! I’m doing okay, coping pretty well, feeling pretty good.

If you self harm check out some of my links here – I haven’t updated them in a while so let me know if you have anything you want to add. And if you need to talk use my contact form – I’ll talk to anyone struggling with self harm and mental health problems.

Take care.

Disappointment and Donations

I don’t deal with disappointment well.

My tactic has been pretty simple over the years to avoid disappointment, or to minimise it. I don’t look forward to anything. I don’t share it. I don’t let other people know about anything good until it’s done or I’m in the middle of it, or I am 100% sure that in the next few hours I will be enjoying something or that something good will happen.

It’s easier then, if something goes wrong. People don’t need to be told that it went wrong and I don’t need to let them know that nothing good happened, nothing happened at all. I don’t then need to relive that over and over or watch the look on people’s faces as I tell them ‘Oh no, in the end, I never got to go,” etc. That look of disappointment that feel in sympathy or empathy or whatever that is then multiplied through that one facial expression before they’ve even said anything and that’s when I’m going through phase of avoiding eye-contact with people.

I’m always worried people are going to make fun of me too. For not having had something I’ve looked forward too happen. As if I’m expecting people to be cruel.

Someone, sometime, was cruel. I have vague memories of it – emotion memories stuck in the back of my mind that flicker to life now and then.

I’m not saying any of it makes sense. I mean, it does to me in a way, but I’ve been working like this for a long time now.

That’s why the blog is about the past so often and I talk about the present but rarely about the future. I don’t talk much about the future. Hell I didn’t even think about it until recently. There used to be this big black wall that preventing me from even contemplating next year, or next week, or tomorrow. It’s been opening up for me but it’s difficult to plan for and harder to discuss with people who aren’t my wife. She likes to make plans, events, gatherings, things that will happen well into our future (though she used to have the same problem with seeing a future as me). I still work on a day to day basis. Sometimes week to week. Sometimes I struggle with the fact that I buy almost a month’s worth of groceries all in one go and she can make them last, make that work.

The reason I talk about this is because we’ve been let down a couple times recently. By a couple of sperm donors and i’s a bit like being punch in the gut and then having a layer of guilt heaped on top. The guilt is all about me and my issues surrounding this – I find the donors. I don’t chose them, we decide together my wife and I whether to go for them. But I’ve done all the research and found these guys and done all the leg work to get these guys and twice we’ve been due to meet up and then…

Nothing.

And there is no chance it will work first time. Second time. At all. Like any other attempt at making babies but dammit we need to at least try before we can deal with that issue. And it feeds into the inadequacy I feel because I am unable to do this myself. It’s one of the few times where I would like to be a bloke. But then, we wouldn’t be together, my wife and I, and well I’d be a semi-professional footballer 😉

I’m actually pretty comfortable in my gender – much more than I used to be – but sometimes, sometimes…I don’t want to be a bloke. I want the ability to make sperm for a short amount of time.

It’s complicated and messy and I can’t quite get it straight in my own head myself.

But, instead of wallowing in disappointment and guilt and depression which is the standard response for these things, I’ve started the search again, tried to find someone new. And hopefully, we won’t get let down again.

Either way, you won’t know until after the fact.

General Election Day

image from Wales Online
image from Wales Online

There is no excuse not to vote.

All right, I can think of one – Paranoia. I haven’t actually voted for years, I can’t remember the last time I voted in fact. Definitely not since I moved to Wales. Sometime when I was living in Leicester. The thing is, I haven’t been registered to vote until recently because of my own paranoia. I didn’t want anyone to know where I was for the longest time. Part of me wanted to hide away for the longest time. It’s a mix of paranoia and basic social anxiety.

I remember going to see my OT once, in Aberystwyth, in the middle in the afternoon and practically hiding in doorways and shadows whenever someone walked by or a car past. Took in three times longer to get there than usual and I was late.

Social phobia has been a big problem for me over the years so actually registering to vote, letting other people know exactly where I am like that is actually a big thing for me.

Actually voting is pretty easy, it’s just two ladies in the memorial hall in the village and took less time than it did to make a cup of tea when I got back. Tea and voting is important. You can’t moan about government but not take part in the democratic process that makes up that government. And you can’t moan about things like immigrants voting when a)it’s not true (my wife can’t vote for another three years and b)you don’t vote yourself.

Protests votes are all very good and well – not turning up out of protest or ruining ballot papers out of protest but I don’t think enough people will actually do this to make a difference. There’s no coordinated effort really. Plus I just think it’s a waste of a vote – there are a few parties that could make a difference, and wasting your vote just means you’ve not voted for someone else and the difference between the people that could do some good in your area and the idiots is bigger. It’s worth voting.

Even if you’re a paranoid social phobic like me.

Mark Williams - a great smile to vote for.
Mark Williams – a great smile to vote for. Also policies.

I voted for Mark Williams – the Liberal Democrat candidate for the area. For two reasons – he has always done good work for the area and I have hope that the if the Lib Dems got into power – on their own, not in a coalition – they could do good work for he country too. Plus Nick Clegg played a blinder when he went on The Last Leg. Overall the currently match my political leanings the most and what I want out of the country. Whether they’ll actually do it is another matter – we’re always let down one way or another. Mostly I just want to be able to live my life and keep my wife in the country. It’s selfish perhaps but there you go. What can I say? I don’t want to lose my wife to the stupid financial standards the current government has set for families to attain to just to stay together.

So yes, vote, make tea, drink tea, bask in pride at both your tea making skills and you’re part in the (mostly) democratic process.

Z is for Zopiclone

az-zI have suffered from insomnia on and off since I was about 13. When I was a teenager I hardly slept. I would be awake until at least three, then get up for school the next day. At the weekend I wouldn’t sleep in but be awake and watch tv in bed. Same during the holidays really. I would always be awake when my dad came home from the pub and I would pretend to be asleep but I never was.

Never.

I shared a room with my sister all through my teenage years, and she’s three years younger than me, so I could stay up and read in my room because I would keep her awake. And my sister had her own sleeping problems as a kid (not unlike my nephew’s at the moment).

When I was older it got worse so I started to try different medications for it.

I started with Herbel Nytol and have tried everything over the counter at one time or another, including two lots of anti-histimines. None of them work any more. I got some Zopiclone from my doctor and that really hit the spot. For a few years on and off. It gave me nightmares though, and at the end of my attempt I had nightmares and no sleep.

I started at the pharmacy and we sell Sominex, which is a sedating antihistamine called Promethazine Hydrochloride (not one of the ones I’d already taken for hayfever/sleeping problems). That seems to be working at the moment, enough that half a tablet – 10mg – does the job. The full dose knocks me for six until about two in the afternoon.

I love that feeling, love actually getting a full night’s sleep. Even with the weird dreams that I have regularly.

Not much else works right now – not when it’s really bad. When the Promethazine Hydrochloride stops working (and I’m sure it will), I’ll have to try something else. I’ll probably have to go back to the doctors but I’m not sure what will be next.

<< Y is for You Got The Dirtee Love || End >>

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Y is for You Got The Dirtee Love

az-yI love a good mix up. So here is Florence and The Machine and Dizzee Rascal for Y. Florence did a cover of the song and then did a version with Dizzee at Brit Awards in 2010.

<< X if for X-Rated || Z is next >>

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X is for X-Rated

az-xIt’s weird the things people get offended by and the things people will tolerate. How we are all different can really change the way we see and react to different things. My wife and I are a good example of how similar two people can be and how different they can react to things.

We liked the same things, we’re both weird on a very specific level. We enjoy the same films and some of the same music and we’re very, very compatible.

We react very differently to violence on TV.

I am pretty much desensitized to violence in films. I watched Robocop 1 and 2 when I was 12 and by then I was already pretty unfazed by it all. I watch a lot of horror films and I don’t scare easily by them or am bothered by them.

My wife on the other hand hates violence in films. Will not watch any horror films with me (I watch them when she takes her baths) and doesn’t like action films that much either (too loud, too busy) and I’ll watch Die Hard over and over until the cows come home with bombs strapped to their udders in a devious plot to take over the world which becomes Die Hard 6. I am also looking forward to Die Hard: In Space.

We were raised very differently though. Which would explain those differences – I’ve been allowed to watch as much tv as I want all my life and when in my dad’s care pretty much watched what I liked (hence Robocop). My wife’s parents didn’t let her watch a lot of tv, or play video games. She’s not as desensitized as me to it and not interested in getting desensitized (if that’s possible). Which isn’t a bad thing.

I find it interesting the way films that were rated 18 say twenty years ago would not be considered a fifteen now. Remember all that fury about video nasties in the eighties. Would they still be banned nowadays, or would they simply be rated eighteens?

<< W is for Waste || Y is next >>

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NaPoWriMo – Day 27

Days pass without sleep
and I try.
Days pass without life
and I try.

r.l.w

NaPoWriMo – Day 27

W is for Waste

az-wThe one things that bugs me the most about my job is the waste.

I work for a pharmacy so we have wasted drugs and we don’t recycle. So many drugs are wasted, people don’t realise how much they’re wasting and sometimes people are just wilfully wasteful too. We’ve had bags, huge bags of unused medications – tablets, liquid, powder. Things people have take incorrectly, or not taken at all, or just forgotten. Medication people have just not even bothered to open and have gone out of date.

It drives me crazy.

At home we recycle, compost, collect glass in a big box that we keep in our alley until we can talk my mum or sister into driving me to the nearest glass bank (we live in a village).

So it bugs me to see so much waste out in the world.

Shops that leave lights on over night, packaging that just gets thrown out – the amount of packaging we through out is unreal. We just get a single item in a box delivered to us sometimes because a machine did it and no one thinks to check these things. I’ve walked past a Marks and Spencers in the middle of the night and seen all their lights on as well as the escalators. Who needs escalators in the middle of the night?

The amount of effort we – the public – are told we need to put into saving the world. We’ve told every individual needs to do their part, the government threatens to take away our bin collections in favour of recycling but no one seems to make business’s do the same.

And it makes me so angry.

We the public end up being responsible for every little thing and saving the whole damn world individually, and together that’s fine because we need to do it, but there needs to be a lot more done by business’s. Instead of just trying to cut costs and sending an item in a box that could’ve been placed in any of the other twenty boxes that were sent that day.

I will carry on composting and recycling and so on though, because I want to save the world.

<< V is for Vampire Hedgehogs || X is next >>

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NaPoWriMo – Day 26

It’s not quite what I expected,
the way she responds to me
pushes me away and tells me
that I am not for her.

And I turn away
and let her go
but not without trying
to reach out with my heartbreak.

She doesn’t respond to it
pressing forward
or watching her go.
She’s lost to me already.

Perhaps if I were different
wore another body
or another smile
she would respond to me.

r.l.w

NaPoWriMo – Day 26

V is for Vampire Hedgehogs

2015-04-07 08.19.06
Vampire hedgehogs as drawn by my wife.
As tattooed by Alex at Monster Ink.
As tattooed by Alex at Monster Ink.
The rest of the tattoos done that day - Choo-Choo and Perry The Platypus.
The rest of the tattoos done that day – Choo-Choo and Perry The Platypus.

 

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