Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Self Harm..Some Truths and Myths

Some of the journalism recently has spoken nothing but festering dog shit about self harm. I imagined that going to university improved your brain but it appears they all leave them there...here are some truths to take away some myths.

Firstly, as is often said, self harm is not attention seeking in the vast majority of cases. It is something very private and something that most hide. I am asked about the healed fab burns on my arms. If the person can handle the truth I will tell them it but they are not medals of war so I avoid it.

At its height I self harmed everyday for about 4 years....mainly burning and self medicating. I am lucky that most days I never think like this anymore.

Self harm can lead you to elation after you have just tried to fight off a tension to do something far worse...it is like a pressure release from a deep pain....a pain that has no word to describe it suitable in the English language.

When you are in mental pain/anguish you can not see it....it is 100% invisible. Self harm is part of ownership and control.....if you are in pain you may as well feel some. It is a way of retuning your brain...this is physical pain and that is mental pain.....believe me the mental one is far greater than a burn or a cut.

The idea that someone wakes up one day and says, ''uhm, think I will stub that fag out on my arm' is a ridiculous one and an opinion held by utter cunts (pardon my french).

The whole world of chronic depression and self harm is a very private affair....the isolation, desolation...the darkness. You would not wish it on a person you hate to the pits of the earth.

So all media wankers....do some research...ask some real people....or keep your collective mouths shut.

Our attitude to self harm in the UK is vile....cavemen would have known better.

T A Roberts ( London July 2011)

Monday, 25 July 2011

Don't Walk..........in Silence (self harm and near death)

About 11 years ago I woke up to what I was doing to myself with self medication...I mean, I literally woke up.

All I remember was hearing my two telephones ringing and I woke up head down on my bedroom floor, fully dressed. My family had been trying to get hold of me and were quite mad at me....as I spoke on the phone I assumed it was Thursday, because it had been Thursday the last time I checked. The fact was it was Saturday and somehow I had lost two days...nights.

I have lived on my own for many, many years and it is almost a dead cert that no one would have rung on my door bell apart from the Postman. This little episode scared me because I was on my own and out of it....I ended up in A&E for two days after this whilst the medication left my body.

At this point I had not been in an acute ward for two years and my shrink was playing tough love with me by saying he would not stick me back in the mental hospital.

It still took me about 4 more years to pull away from self medication and burning my arms...when I have a deep depression now I have more of the tools to deal with it and I have not even thought of self harm....but the one thing that has really kept it at bay is that thought of dieing alone.....in silence...and maybe it being weeks before anyone found me.....

It is a strange kind of self therapy but it worked for me.... I am beating my demons....1 by 1....its a slow game one has to play.

T A Roberts (London July 2011)

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Self Harm..The Ticking Bomb....Amy Winehouse

Keith Moon self destructed at 32 but he had been self destructing from a young age. Yes it looks good in the papers.....sex,drugs, Rock n Roll. A book on Keith was written 10 years ago that suggested he suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder.

It is easy and ignorant to say that Amy Winehouse brought this on...it is plain fucking stupid.

Addiction is very rarely a route that anyone would choose....it is a mental illness....self destruction and self harm are not spoken about in the UK....it is easier to turn a blind eye and ignore it or point fingers and call the person weak. Well life must be so fucking perfect for you then and how lucky you are.

Most mental health issues are planted in you from young age...some may come via genes and some come through life experiences.....some are just a chemical in balance.

Amy was in pain...mental hell. That was plain for anyone who has suffered it to see. The unpredictable behavior....the need for drugs and drink to escape something very deeply planted.

Mental illness shows no discrimination....none at all...my one saving grace when locked up in a Rehab hospital was this....there were men and women from council estates.....and from very well to do back grounds. Their money did not help their hell and in some ways it made it worse. They could get hold of drugs that numb it all.

I am unusual for a man, my shrink and psychologist said in that I burn and cut and OD. This tends to be women in the main and men will destroy themselves with drink and drugs.......I ended up with ECT x 12...electric shock treatment....

I am very lucky.....Amy played her hell out in the media.....I did not have to and I can only imagine what a shit place she was at most days....no escape....no dark room........

Listen to Black to Black as an album....if it does not hurt you maybe you are not human. What a brilliant talent the curse of addiction has taken from us.....the curse of self harm and mental hell.

I don't believe that a words exists to quite do justice to the hell of mental illness....every existing word  seems too nice.....

Good night Amy ... and so the final frame and yes you were self professed and profound.

T A Roberts (London 2011)

Saturday, 16 July 2011

I will grow up to be a Man....One day (BDD attacks)

Had an interesting therapy session with John on Friday; I was made to challange my deep belief system that I am defective....as I have mentioned before, my defective schema is the one that scored the highest and is the one that attacks me the most.

You see I believe that I don't look anything like a man....I do not look like the man types that I pass everyday and I am still in that teen mindset where you can not wait to grow up so that you can look like a grown up...as far as I am concerned I do not look anything like any other man. Even my beard is corrupt!

So I had to do the 'empty chair' method where I talk to me....as if my schema is talking to me....so I gave John quite a headache because he was scribbling stuff down at 100 miles per hour....I give him so much to work with because my condition is so so complex.....and I believe that I do look correct more then I have ever believed in anything else.

I have been under a BDD attack for the past week so it was a timely session.... I feel lucky that I have not had a chronic depression attack for some time now so it allows me to try and work on my body image stuff with a clearer mind.

John explained to me how our eyes see things differently when in a depression....I have often described it as a skewed vision...there is scientific proof that depression makes things look different and this is good to know because this is something I recognize. We also talked about dimensions and LCD.....this is how we roll.

I still know 100% that I am different and somehow do not fit in this world but I am managing it better now. I live an isolated life and do not wish to mix with people......I doubt that will ever change. But as long as I can get by on my own I will be ok................I have up until now...

T A Roberts (London July 2011)

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Good Days, Mirrors And Beating BDD/Depression

Things have slowly changed for me in the past 18 months of therapy. The mirror presents a challenge still but not to the degree that it once did. I shall forever have to fight BDD and Chronic Depression but I am now getting the tools to know how to.

I have returned to embracing the arts and the things that made me me. I was always the black sheep and now I am starting to this as a sign of strength rather than weakness. We live in a country where the majority seem to strive to be the same as the next person. How boring is a world like that?

I am different and I know I am....I only have to read my diagnostic sheet to know that...BDD, Chronic Depression, Personality Disorder, Anxiety Disorder. Makes me sound like a train crash. But I am not, I am just not the same as the rest and I am starting, very slowly, to see the uniqueness in it and embrace it like you would a fragile baby.

I have got away from needing love...sex..relationships....it has been nearly 7 years since I got up close and personal sexually. It was such a big deal to me but now I accept that I am not everyone's cup of tea and that this is part of life and that you have to get on with it. If I never kiss a girl or never have sex again it will not kill me and I need to stop beating me up....and how I did beat me up. The damage I have done to my person is too much to contemplate.

I think the thearapy has dampened my ability to write my poems.......so be it. My dyslexia is improving and I am reading like a book whore addicted to books..........I love this and what I am discovering. I found Theatre again, which is my only real love and my first. Life is good even though I am poorer then I have ever been.

Chronic depression will have its days with me, I know that and I am ready for it....it has been here forever but I will be able to fight back a bit more now.

I am in a good place and it is not all dark out there anymore..............for now.

T A Roberts (London July 2011)