So, I come to the end of another year as a mental health blogger – and, judging by the fact that I have not given up on the whole endeavour, as I expected I would, I must be doing something that is not quite as shit as the stuff that clings to the pipes leaving the toilet that deals with the majority of my IBS-ridden concerns. At least, I hope that is what it means; I still don’t think much of what I do here, and don’t really understand the moderate success this site.
Anyhow, there is almost fuck all other than this blog to show for another year of respiration, though I have a suspicion that my customary verbosity will disguise that fact admirably in the forthcoming prose. This time last year I wrote a review of the seven months I had then been blogging, and find myself amused that a period of nearly twice the length in question – ie. the 12 months of this year – is full of much less material of any meaningful worth. I may be able to count this blog as one thing that has been worthwhile in 2010 (and I do), but to be honest, there is almost damn all else.
I mean, 2009 was shit – but at least some stuff actually happened. For instance, I lost my job in a mental health charity for being a mental health charity case. I received my first proper diagnoses, catapulting me to the ranks of a proper mental. I developed psychosis and watched myself sink into a spiral of dissociated mess. I was ordered to murder my baby cousin on Christmas Day. Fun? No. Not at all. But at least it was vaguely interesting: shit actually took place. This year, analysing it retrospectively, has been mind-numbingly, uneventfully, unwaveringly dull.
But, re-engaging my narcisssism gear, let me attempt to dissect something of it, in a fashion similar to that employed this time last year.
In 2010, I hated, became frustrated with/annoyed by, and send poxes in the general direction of:
- my abject failure to kill myself (pathetically, at that) at the start of the year. It wasn’t my finest moment, but it’s a sign of how desperate I was…well, obviously it was a sign of how desperate I was – people don’t tend to attempt suicide because they’re bored or think it will be funny or something. Anyhow, it was not so much the really woefully awful suicide attempt that was such a ‘bad’ thing; it was the infernal, hateful, despicable A&E extravaganza that became the attempt’s incidental and dubious side order. I don’t even think the relevant post captures the overwhelming feeling of one’s brain decaying before one’s very eyes (not literally, obviously. I mean, obviously! But it certainly felt that way on a metaphorical level). Certainly not one of my more enjoyable all-nighters.
- the cessation of therapy with C. I can’t provide you with a link to a specific post (this takes you to a list of posts about him) because, despite the fact that I was booted out of his care in August, I have still been unable to bring myself to review the final sessions on this blog – or, even, in my own mind. I (audibly) recorded the final (I think) five meetings; my rationale for doing so was that I knew there would be material discussed therein that concerned my lengthy anti-discharge complaint (see below) – stuff that the Trust might well be inclined to deny. Evidence, in other words. It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve tried to lie to me. Anyway, a by-product of such aural subterfuge was that I had all the material to capably write-up the final sessions – but the thing is, I can’t bring myself to listen to any of it. I accidentally clicked on one file in iTunes the other week, and upon hearing C’s soft voice, to find how much I still reacted. It was a bizarre, indescribable combination of regret, disgust (at him and his employers), longing, bitterness, sadness, hypervigilance and bewilderment. And thus it all remains unwritten – for those of you that seem to derive some sort of vicarious enjoyment from my therapy session reviews, I apologise. But hopefully the stuff with Paul (see below) suffices?
- the endlessly circular and frustrating palaver with the Trust complaint and Mr Director-Person. Seriously, what utter, utter cunts. Every time I got a letter from the putridly elf-like Mr D-P I felt violent, primal urges which had hitherto been alien to me. What an unspeakable wanker. Seriously, what a twat! A fucker of the highest order. Bellended fucking cockhead. Bastarding, twatting…Sorry. I could rant all day. Moving on (…), the more he became a jargon-obsessed, targets-driven fuckstain of absolutely evil fuckery of cuntitude, the more tenacious and pissed off I became, to the point where they actually had to take him specifically out of the picture and instead involve Mr Chief Executive. I’m currently waiting on my medical notes detailing my entire psychiatric history and a meeting with an advocate (see below); thereafter, I am taking up an offer from Mr C E to meet the Head of Psychology and the Assistant Director of Mental Health to “discuss the way forward”. I fully intend to win this fight.
- dealing with the realisations – or, more accurately, dealing with admitting the realisations – of my childhood abuse in therapy. See here, for example. However, I class confessing to C about the sheer extent of things as a positive development, so in that sense see below. The hallucinatory fallout from the admission wasn’t exactly a barrel of laughs, however.
- the worry that my family had found this blog (which suddenly exploded all over again yesterday). That would have been a disaster of the like I have never experienced…but, through all the clouds of the associated drama, I saw one slither of silver shining through: I will not be silenced because of those arseholes. I’ve banned suspicious IPs from reading and will continue to do so as necessary. If the family are reading, if they don’t like what I write here…well. If they don’t like it then they can go to hell.
- the fucking DLA changes and the comprehensive spending review. Nearly as effective a manual for suicide as that penned by Geo Stone in 2001.
- the recollection of the gang rape. It’s always been something on the fringes of my awareness, and I suppose I was compartmentalising - something at which I am highly skilled – and hiding it away. In a sense it’s a good thing that I admitted it to myself (to Paul – see below for more on him), but although I know that intellectually, it was still very, very hard to ruminate on.
- planning, and un-planning, to kill myself (again) at the start of October. This is bad from all angles: if you are a nice anti-mentalist who for whatever fucked up reason thinks I am remotely less than shite, then you might be sorry that I so deeply planned this, and that I know exactly how to do it should the compulsion consume me once more. If you’re me then you see it as a bad thing too – I still can’t even end my life successfully. Another moronic failure of a not-necessarily-difficult task. How much longer will this silly little dance continue?!
- feeling the effects of the intensity of my new therapy with Paul was difficult. In the long-run, such intense work is a good thing, I’m certain – but in the short-term, it frankly fucking sucks.
- going mental in Newcastle. Actually, I look back on this with a certain amount of humour – I mean, an (admittedly, in the grand scheme of things, low level) experience similar to Cotard’s Delusion is quite amusing – but it was horrible at the time. I wrote that post whilst bizarrely feeling quite hypomanic, but shortly afterwards I was lying in a toilet somewhere retching and shaking like the local crack addict going cold turkey. Not. Nice. At. All.
- the usual perennial misery of Seasonal Affective Disorder, plus general late-year malaise and more side-effects of therapy.
- meeting (and having A meet) my alter, a child that I’ve taken to calling Aurora. I hate her. I don’t know what else to say; her manifestation was – and is – an enormous development, but beyond expressing my abhorrence of her, I don’t know what I should discuss on the matter. She sucks. The end.
But in 2010, I derived joy, pleasure, satisfaction or hope from:
- changing my name via deed poll at the start of 2010 – in order that I may be dissociated from V, the human male responsible for a spermatozoa implanting itself into an ovum produced by my mother, and his kin, Georgie and Merv – and am still confident that my decision to do so was the correct one. My mother hasn’t entirely come to terms with it, and perhaps she never will, but that’s her issue. It is amusing to watch the rest of the family try and almost perpetually fail to remember it. I find myself wondering if they would be so forgetful if I had changed my name through marriage. I suspect that the outdated cunts would not be thus disabled.
- meeting NewVCB, my new consultant psychiatrist, in January of this year. That first meeting was perhaps slightly dubious, but in fairness it was just after I slit my wrists (see above), so it wasn’t the best time for the encounter to take place. In general, the relationship is a fairly good one, and I do think she wants the best for me.
- Seroquel, as prescribed by the aforementioned NewVCB in the aforementioned first appointment. Life-saver. Stick your anti-psychiatry wank up your arse; this drug has not only saved me from probable section and possibly a descent into completely florid psychosis, it has also saved my very life. I don’t give a fuck if you think I should be “mindfully breathing” and not accepting “overly pathological” “labels” (a term I loathe with a passion) and the ”Big Pharma conspiratorial pushing” of these “mind controlling” drugs. I really could not give less of a fuck. Seroquel has made my life less shit. (Oooh, wah wah, it’s a placebo man, don’t you get it, haven’t you examined the real evidence [yes, that utterly non-biased body of 'work' - why, actually, yes - I have!], wah wah wah, gaaaah, mmmmmooooaaaaannnnnn – look: do fuck off, people. The record is stuck and it’s getting fucking boring now. Cheers).
- another diagnosis: this time of complex post-traumatic stress disorder. I get the impression that NewVCB isn’t entirely keen on the application of what she terms ”emotionally unstable personality disorder” (I much prefer the DSM’s ‘borderline’ myself, as in reference to my specific case at least I find it a more accurate description of the condition – not true of all those thus diagnosed, I know). It is, after all, the most stigmatised diagnosis in psychiatric history, for reasons that I still don’t entirely understand. Anyway, being diagnosed as having C-PTSD was a positive thing in the sense that I could perhaps start accepting that maybe the fault, if there indeed is any apportion-able blame, for my turning out as the unemployed and unemployable tosspot that I am lies elsewhere, and is not as internal as I often attempt to portray. (Hmm. That’s easy to say…).
- lovely blog awards of joy. I don’t write this journal for such recognition, but it’s certainly an honour to have some sort of impact on others’ lives. Firstly I received a runner-up’s prize from Mental Nurse, later a ‘Top 25 PTSD’ Award from Medical Assistant Schools, then in early December a ‘Top Ten Health Blog‘ award from Blogger’s Choice Awards and finally, completing the circle, more from Mental Nurse in the form of first place for both the ”Personality Disorders” and “Psychotherapy” categories (there were a few others along the way, too). I can’t work out what I’ve done to deserve these, but I’m delighted and humbled nevertheless. In all sincerity - thank you.
- admitting to C just how chronic and systematic my experiences of child sex abuse at the hands of my uncle had been. I mean, putting it into actual, verbal words. I had been completely incapable of saying what needed to be said for weeks (arguably months, arguably even years), and finally doing so felt like an achievement for some reason. It’s just a shame that when I was finally able to let him peel back all those nefarious layers that he kicked me out of therapy. Cheers, NHS!
- this blog celebrating its first birthday in May. Yay! I’m still so glad started to write it.
- a holiday! Yay yay
- the Mad Up – a carnival wherein a range of UK mental health bloggers descended upon a London park and, later, a London pub, to meet the faces behind the writings. It was truly a privilege to meet such an amazingly courageous and charismatic group of people, and I enjoyed their company immensely.
- PAUL!!!!! A similar yet somehow distinctly different type of therapist to C, Paul is very, very definitely A Good Thing. I knew that as soon as I first met him, and the consensus from my A, my friends and those of you that comment here seems to be universally in his favour. I consider myself very fortunate to have met him, especially when I had been so (unfairly) dubious about the Nexus Institute.
- telling Paul that my abusers psychologically tortured me too. I had told A of this, but I had been drinking on that occasion – discussing it verbally in an entirely sober state was something of an achievement, I felt, even though I can’t quite work out why that is my view.
- Twitter and the Madosophere, once again. This year I’d particularly like to thank bourach at Conversations With My Head, Phil Groom, the artist formerly known as Lola Snow, Autumn Delusions, Bippidee, Magic Plum, Useless CPN, Maybe Borderline, Seaneen, Karita, Zarathustra of Mental Nurse, Splintered Ones, Sanabitur Anima Mea, and Titflasher. <3 to all of you, andindeed to many more – I’ve felt particularly supported and/or entertained and/or understood by this lot, but it doesn’t mean that others haven’t been brilliant either.
- My wonderful friends - Daniel, Brian, CVM, Annie, K, and A’s family and friends have all been brilliant this year, as they are every year. For those of you that read this – I think it’s about five of you – thank you from…no, not the bottom of my heart; I don’t want the arteries leaving said organ to squirt blood all over you, after all. Thank you from somewhere much more psychologically meaningful; the part of my brain that controls positive feelings and affection.
- A and Mum. Mum has her moments in which she frustrates me, but generally our relationship is fairly good at present, and she has been mostly supportive throughout the year. A, as ever, has managed to not kill me in his own quiet, unassuming way, and I am perennially grateful and touched for his love and support.
I moved this blog from its previous home at http://serialinsomniac.wordpress.com to the self-hosted domain with which you are now familiar in January 2010. I think it was about half-way through the month and at that stage the blog had about 17,000 hits, mainly from referrals from other blogs and sites that quoted or linked to my drivel.
As you can see from the relevant section of the right-sidebar, I now have over 200,000 hits. Some of the volume has been from being listed on blog aggregation sites and whatnot, but most of it now comes from searches. One advantage of self-hosted WordPress blogs is that it’s easy to install plug-ins that make relevant posts easily found by relevant Google searches.
In worldwide terms, 200,000 hits is what some blogs get in 10 minutes - but Confessions was never intended nor expected to reach such heady heights, and to that end I am grateful for what is for me a surprisingly high amount of visitation. Moreover, I am grateful to and platonically in love with all the personnel behind the statistics – I am now in the enviable position where I can class several of you as real life friends, and even where that is not the case, I care deeply about all of you that comment, read regularly, and engage via other media such as Twitter and Facebook. Thank you all.
The most frequent referrers to this site are StumbleUpon, Twitter, BlogSurfer, Bippidee and Mental Nurse.
The most read post by a substantial margin is Thoughts on the DLA Changes in the Budget, with over 5,000 unique hits. To my utter astonishment, the words ‘DLA changes’, a term that one would have expected to lead to a governmental outline of the modifications of the benefit, renders this post as the first result in some Google searches. Wow.
Other popular posts are:
The most read static pages are, probably unsurprisingly, About the Autho (2,300 hits) and The Alter Ego (900 hits). All of these figures are rounded up or down to the nearest 50.
The most popular search terms landing here are ‘(confessions of a) serial insomniac (blog)’, ‘dla changes [or many analogous terms]‘, ’c-ptsd‘, ’akathasia‘ and, rather amusingly, ’nadine dorries‘.
[EDIT: Over Mental Nurse, I've just noted some of my favourite random search terms that seem to have fuck all to do with most of what I write. I thought I should include them here too. They are: 'marsha linehan is a fucking bitch' (well said!), 'mum sex' (um...), 'psychodynamic masterbate [sic]‘ (oh yes, give me some Freudian lovin’), ‘already oppressive with his worthless refrains, will perhaps be the ultimate exterminator of our human species—if separate species we be—for his reserve of unguessed horrors could never be borne by mortal brains if loosed upon the world. if you think that that’s a frightening thought then consider‘ (OK, not really so random – the quote is on the sidebar. Still loved that it got here, though) and ‘day of the triffids sexist‘ (yes, gender disenfranchisement was my first concern when giant carnivorous plants decided to take over the world and eat everyone and everything. Politics is so important at such a time). If you were one of the above searchers, thank you for entertaining me throughout the year!
EDIT II: Just spotted these gems in the stats of recent days: ‘thefundingmentalists‘ (don’t know why but it made me laugh – I’m guessing it has something to do with the spending cuts, and is therefore wonderfully appropriate),’will she fuck someone else bpd‘ (yep, all we can do is whore about; there is literally nothing else in our lives ((*watches this blog vanish forthwith*))), ‘hate it blog‘ (yes, given my general nihilism, I probably hate it too), ‘illusion of child rape small xxxxx‘ (what the fuck?) and possibly the best: ‘how will i say goodbye after suicide?‘ (well, I suspect you’ll have to haunt your loved ones, because I don’t think your vocal chords are going to do it for you).]
People most often leave Confessions to head over to Conversations With My Head, Bippidee, Splintered Ones, Writing Myself Sane and Mentally Interesting (alas, the last two are no longer writing, at least for now. Love and hugs sent across the blogosphere to both Ophelia and Seaneen).
The most popular day to date on this blog was 23 June 2010, when there were 2,586 hits in total.
So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish
No, no, no, fear not: I’m not quitting blogging just yet – I just felt like saying that. I’m just signing off from this post, and anyway, it’s a nice phrase (if a strange one for those not familiar with the reference). In the absence of this quote, the title for this conclusion would have been ‘Meh’ or ‘Blah’ or something, and I thought an Adams allusion, inappropriate or otherwise, would be slightly more interesting.
I’m not enough of an optimist to start wishing everyone who reads this blog a happy new year, as I know mental illness and related maladies don’t necessarily lend themselves well to such hopes. Furthermore, I know that the new year can be intensely triggering for some people – myself included, though mercifully not quite to the same degree as some (my main trigger of winter is, of course, Christmas). Still, the whole thing reminds one rather acutely of the inherent pointlessness of life and, in my case, the pointlessness of my life.
But, in some nebulous way, there is always the small chink of light somewhere that dictates that maybe, just maybe, the next 12 months will be vaguely less bollocks than the previous 12. So if you’ve had a tolerable 2010, I wish you a tolerable 2011. If you haven’t, I wish you a much better cycle of existence this time round.
Either way, you all have much love, affection and virtual hugs from little old me.