Loopy, Lonely and Lost

Posts Tagged ‘counselling

I’m sorry if I seem unclear on what I want from these sessions. It’s because what I want is unutterable. What I want – what I really want – is for you to tell me that there is no hope.

I want you to be brutally honest, and say, “it’s carry on as you are or kill yourself, I’m afraid”. I think, if someone said it, I could do it. I’d no longer be relying on my worn-out brain. I’d have a second opinion.

Really, I suppose I’ve been coming to see you mostly for that reason. In the pathetic hope that you will tell me that I have been right all along, and that that will give me the certainty necessary to commit suicide. I try to explain what’s wrong, but I’m not looking for solutions. However much it looks like it, I don’t want you to find an answer. Because if there is an answer, then that means I have to live and try even harder – and anyway, I know by now that nothing works.

So I sit in front of you and answer your questions and try to make you understand, but all those silent pauses aren’t because I’m thinking or worrying. They’re the gaps where I should be saying, the only way to change my life is to end it. The only way to change my life is to end it. The only way to change my life is to end it. I can’t say that, of course – I don’t even know you but I still fear causing you worry. I want you to come to the conclusion alone.

I want you to look me in the eye and say “there is no way out”. I need someone else to acknowledge it, so I can know it’s not just me thinking it. I need to know that it is true, because whilst that’s in doubt, I’ll find it difficult to gather the courage to kill myself. I want you to listen to everything I’ve told you and reach the same conclusion: that the only way to stop the excruciating difficulties in my life is to stop my life altogether. I need it to be confirmed.

But of course, I can’t say this. It’d probably sound weird, and worrying.

So I let the silences linger and I let myself seem directionless, and I hope you will understand. I want to walk out of our final session next week, knowing for certain what I have to do.

Otherwise, I’m just going to stay alive for weeks or months or years, never quite feeling certain enough to die, and always wishing that I could, and letting everyone see what an absolute fuck-up I am. It would be kinder to everyone involved if I could find the courage to do it as soon as possible.

So yeah, sorry about not really telling the truth when you ask me what I want from the sessions.

From Laura

Posted on: June 16, 2010

I’m struggling a little bit at the moment.

I’ve been working for the past couple of days, which is a good distraction, but my sleep is completely fucked anyway, and it’s hard to get up at 6am after two hours’ sleep, then work 9 hours (trying to motivate teenagers, at that), then go home and be exhausted but still not sleeping anywhere near enough, and then get up the next day and do it again. But yeah, it’s been a distraction, and I sort of made friends with the person I was working with…it feels such an embarrassingly long time since I actually made a friend, so it actually feels like a big thing, when all that happened was I met someone with a few similar interests and we chatted a lot (I wish the small things didn’t seem so big. I wish it could be like the old days, when it all came so much more easily).

I’m finding it hard to calm my anxiety. It’s not full-on panic yet, just a sort of dread that I can feel rising in my chest. I’m pretty sure I’ve failed my degree (I’ve done the maths. Any kind of half-decent grade is unlikely, verging on impossible). And I don’t know how I’m going to explain. To my family, who have always been so unjustifiably proud of me. Or to my friends, whose opinion of me is so out-of-date that they still think of me as “clever”, because last time we studied together was at college, back when I could do anything.

I mean, what do I say? How can I let everyone down like this? I’m going to spend the rest of my life saying, “yeah, sorry, it turns out I’m stupid”. It’s always going to be there. I’ll never be allowed to forget it. Every single job application. The whole of my life, making excuses and avoiding eye contact and shrugging. It’s hard enough to get a job these days even as a graduate with a first class degree. How the fuck will I manage, having gone to university and made nothing of it? Four years, down the drain. Thousands of pounds of debt. Nothing to show for it. It’s a fucking waste and I wish I hadn’t bothered.

And I think, briefly…maybe I don’t want to lie anymore. Maybe I just want to hold my hands up, say “I can’t cope”, burst into tears and wait for someone to come along and make it better. It’s naive, and weak, even to think it. To consider, even for a moment, that this is something that would be easier if people knew. It would just be a different kind of difficult, and not a kind that, really, I’d ever be able to cope with. I know I’m not really coping now, but at least I have privacy. At least no-one feels sorry for me. It’s a small comfort, but it’s pretty much all I’ve got, and I’m not going to give it up because of some instinctive desire to just hand over the reins and let someone else steer my life while I have a bit of a nap.

I’ve found something that is bigger than me. You can call it depression, or unhappiness, or pessimism, or just plain old life, but it’s too big and too destructive, and I’ve been holding it inside myself and it’s been eating away, consuming all of me to make more room for it, so it can grow and take over completely. Soon it will be all I am.

I have another counselling appointment on Friday. It’ll probably be the last one. I left it too late for it to make a difference. I suppose it wouldn’t have, anyway. Then again, I don’t really think months or even years of counselling would be able to change my thoughts. They’re too…big. They’re too much of me.

I suppose I might be a little suicidal. Kill yourself, kill yourself, might as well kill yourself. Better get it over with before life catches up with you. Hurry up and do it before things get worse. Kill yourself, kill yourself. Shut up and kill yourself. Over and over again until it’s all I can think, and no amount of superficial think of something else-ing will get rid of it.

I’m scared, a lot. But to be perfectly honest, I’m more scared of living than I am of dying.

Things are going okay. I’m having snatches of my mood lifting…an hour or two here, an hour or two there. To be honest, most of the time I’m feeling reasonably cheerful. It’s interspersed with bursts of absolute panic re: everything but – horrible as those times are – at the moment, feeling okay is taking up more time.

I had another counselling appointment on Friday. If I’m being perfectly honest, it wasn’t particularly useful. I had a lot of difficulty understanding what she wanted me to talk about, and even more difficulty actually talking. I can’t find the proper words. Everything feels like either an understatement or an exaggeration, and I just sort of sit there, casting my mind around for something I can say without having to clarify it or follow it up with “…sometimes” or “I think” or “I’m not sure that makes any sense”. She keeps asking for explanations, too. That doesn’t particularly bother me – obviously it’s best if she actually understands what I’m talking about – but the more I try and fail to explain properly, the more frustrated I get with myself. It’s like there’s a brick wall in front of me every time I speak, or else a switch that flicks in my mind and stops my thoughts from reaching my mouth. When I speak to her, I feel more than ever like I’m being vague or making strange comparisons or just saying the wrong things in the wrong way…I listen to my words and I don’t think I‘d be able to get it, if I didn’t have access to my thoughts too.

I suppose she must be good at her job because, unlike with pretty much everyone I’ve ever tried to talk to about this, talking to her doesn’t immediately make me want to throw myself off a cliff. There’s only time for two more sessions, anyway, so I might as well keep going. I suspect that maybe it’s the fixed, short-term nature of the thing that stops me from panicking: it doesn’t matter what happens, because soon enough I’ll never see her again.

I went to my friend’s party on Saturday night, too. It went reasonably well. I was alright. I spoke and laughed and it was all okay, although I kept getting distracted by the sky (I don’t know what it is about night skies. They feel weirdly significant, and I tend to get lost in them easily). The people who were there who I knew already were lovely but kept asking where I’d been, why I hadn’t been in touch…why we hadn’t spoken for six months. I don’t know where that time has gone. It worries me that half a year can pass and I’ve done nothing and not contacted my friends and not really noticed anything. I worry that a whole lifetime could pass that way.

The people who were there who I didn’t know were a bit of a problem, too. Well, not a problem, as such. I just get annoyed when, within seconds of my reaching a place, people are grinning at me and laughing and talking at me in that way that feels like they’re prompting me, trying to get me to say something ridiculous. And then, a couple of hours later, they were listing the funny things I’d said (apparently several entries for their Quotes of the Day), and casually telling me I’m “a bit strange”, as if it’s a completely obvious and uncontroversial point. Don’t get me wrong, they were nice people. I just tire of everyone’s first impression of me being exactly the same (a friend once introduced me to his girlfriend as “Laura. She’s crazy”, and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been introduced to friends of friends and they’ve raised an eyebrow and grinned and said, “yeah, I’ve heard all about you”, and later, “[our mutual friend] told me you’d be like this!”). I don’t even really understand why it happens. I mean, I’m not that weird, am I? There are definitely people weirder. It just saddens me a bit, and sometimes makes me feel more like free (and slightly bewildered) entertainment than a friend.

And I suppose the biggest surprise is that I mean “that was a surprise” without a trace of sarcasm.

I’m still not sure if counselling is a good idea.

But now, in the immediate aftermath…I actually feel like a little something has lifted.

Somebody knows. Someone in the real world. Someone who actually listened. Somebody who didn’t pretend there are easy answers, and who gave the impression she was actually trying to understand. Someone who didn’t force the issue of going to a doctor.

I had a little bit of a cry, and for once, actually felt like that helped.

My problems aren’t solved. Even if she is capable of helping me make things better, it’s unreasonable to ask that of her in the very few weeks I have left at uni. Nobody can work miracles.

But I feel…buoyed, I suppose. At least for now, and I guess ‘now’ is all I can really ask for.

I confirmed that I would go to the counselling appointment. It’s tommorow afternoon.

I get the awful feeling that this is a very bad idea. But I’ve said I’ll go now, and if I don’t I’ll just feel guilty because somebody else could have that appointment.

There are so many things I should talk about, but I feel comfortable talking about so very few of them.

I’m scared of being told the truth – that this is all my own fault, that I’ve messed up everything and should just shut up and sort it out. But if I am told anything else then it would feel like ridiculous empty lies.

I have to go because I’ve said I will. But I’m scared that it will make things worse. I don’t respond well to talking about things – perhaps even worse than I respond to keeping them locked away. But it’s what you’re supposed to do, isn’t it? Talk and discuss and face it head-on even when you want to hide and pretend nothing is happening.

I’m so tired. I just want to curl up and go to sleep and never wake up. My parents keep telling me to apply for jobs but how can I? When I don’t believe I can do anything. When I’m not convinced I’ll be alive in a few months or whenever. When I can’t do interviews because I can’t speak properly. When every fucking job has a medical form and technically I’m sure I could probably get away with no, I haven’t ever had a serious mental illness, but it still feels a bit like lying if I don’t add but I’m stupid and lazy and unreliable and I can’t guarantee I’m not going to run away or kill myself or just sit in a corner and weep all day.

Oh, God, what do you do, when you’re nothing? When there isn’t any place for you anywhere anymore? When you spend so much of your life wishing to turn back time that even more time passes and you haven’t changed, you haven’t done anything and it’s getting harder and harder to pretend that you haven’t closed every possible door? When nothing’s turned out like you thought it would, and you don’t have a contingency plan? What do you do when you are nothing, and deserve nothing? 

What do you do when none of your options is really an option at all, and when the smallest sacrifice it’s possible to make is your entire future?

I’ve let everyone down, and I continue to do so every fucking day. And I don’t know how to stop it, let alone how to reverse it.

Posted on: May 24, 2010

Today, I had an exam. It went very badly. On my way to the exam hall I just kept thinking about my family and how disappointed they’ll be. How much they must wish they could trade me for someone better. And I started getting a little watery-eyed. Read the rest of this entry »

…begins now.

No more lying around doing nothing when there are things to do.

No more constant crying and fantasising about suicide.

I’ll do my coursework. I’ll accept the cut in marks for it being late.

I’ll go to lectures and seminars.

I’ll try to do some reading.

I’ll try to find a way to actually sleep, before my brain explodes.

I might even make a counselling appointment. Maybe they will help me sort out my university problems, which are rapidly spiralling out of control.

And it’s written down, now, so I have to do it. And I’m not going to delete it or make it private so I get to ignore it. It’s here, now. No backing out.




Posted on: October 15, 2009

This morning, it took me an hour and a half to raise the energy to get out of bed.

But get out of bed I did.

I missed one lecture, first of the term, but went to the others. In one of them, I actually felt like I really understood, like I was getting it.

Is this a measurement of achievement? Is this a sign that everything is okay? I can’t think of any other measurable indicator of how things are, so perhaps everything’s fine.

I am so exhausted. I haven’t done any reading for my lectures, I haven’t even attempted to sort out and arrange my notes like I promised myself I would. I’m not sleeping. I feel so tired but I can’t get to sleep, andwhen I finally do I’m awake again an hour, two hours later.

I’m not really thinking anymore. Everything is vague and fuzzy and difficult.

My group has to give a presentation in a seminar tomorrow. I have to go, I can’t let the group down, and going raises less questions than not going would. But I can’t think, I can’t concentrate, I can’t face speaking in front of people, but I know I have to.

I keep thinking I’ll make an appointment with the counsellor, but every time I even think about what I’d say, I either start crying or get so tired that my thoughts trail off and I lie down and stare at a wall for a while.

My name is being ticked off on registers. I’m getting up and moving and going to things. But that’s about all I can say in my favour at the moment.

I’ve been considering going to counselling again this year.

It would be difficult, though. I mean, what would I say? How do I explain to someone I haven’t seen for 18 months that the break I took to sort my life out did nothing of the sort, that everything is still fucked up – perhaps even worse, as I actually, genuinely have no support in any form whatsoever -, and that I haven’t changed, except perhaps from being older, more tired, more cynical, more negative? I’d love to make an appointment, just one, and just drop in and say something like, “Hi! Just wanted to come and let you know that everything’s brilliant now, my life’s on track and I’ve never felt better”. That was how it was supposed to be, I was supposed to be okay. I’d love to have some sort of confirmation that the decisions I’ve made have been right ones, and that there is some hope for me.

I don’t know how to go to a counsellor and admit that every hope I’ve ever had for my future has fallen by the wayside, because I’m no longer capable of achieving everything, because I’m too slow, too stupid, too frightened.

I don’t know how to look someone in the eye and admit to them that I’m ruining my life, I’m wasting my opportunities, and I can’t imagine a future for myself. I don’t know how to explain that I’m living my life from one day to the next, doing what I feel I can, and feeling guilty for everything I don’t manage.

But it would be so good to have someone to talk to. Not just someone who knows about all of this, my private inner life that I conceal with such devotion, but just someone. This flat is so quiet. I see people, we say hello, and that’s it. I sit in the kitchen, eating my meals alone. I go to make a cup of tea, and nobody’s there, or if they are, they don’t hang around to chat. I’m trying not to compare it to last year’s flat, because that will just make me unhappy. But the truth is that when I feel like I do today, if there aren’t people everywhere, chatting to me every time I leave my room, inviting me to go to places and do things, then I won’t speak, I won’t have any human contact.

So maybe the counsellor could just be a person, an opportunity to speak sometimes. And maybe she would help me understand my fucked up brain. And maybe she would help me when it comes to deadline time, etc. – I don’t want special treatment (it’s not like I have a real problem, it’s not like any of this matters), but just someone to help me explain might be good.

But then, maybe she’d nag me to go to a doctor (I won’t. I can’t. Non-negotiable). And maybe she’d try to help me make friends, and I’d feel like such a failure because it’s not supposed to be a problem, and anyway I don’t have the energy for making new friends.

I don’t know.

I didn’t do anything today. I mean, I dressed, and managed to eat, but apart from that I’ve been mostly hiding in my room, alternating blankness and crying fits and exhaustion.

I wish there was an easy answer. Or even just an answer that was easy to decide upon.

I feel so grumpy. Just generally irritable and pissed off.

I stayed away from people all day because I knew I’d probably end up being a bitch to them. Read the rest of this entry »


My name is Laura. I was once told that I have cyclothymia. This blog is mostly where I write about living as a person with extremes and instability of mood, and the history of a life that led to the development of those symptoms.

I complain a lot, I'm very repetitive, unreliable, and I tend to contradict myself.

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