If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that Ive spent a lot of time in my young adulthood in and out of psychiatric hospitals. The thing that bothers me the most isn’t the dire experience of these institutions but more the aftermath of life outside of them. Depression , anxiety and PTSD makes life difficult.
I worry about my chances of getting a job as i’ve been unemployed for five years and my ability to have a normal healthy relationship , or raise a family.
I’m not gonna say I’ve tried my best because I haven’t. My recent admission was partly my fault I thought going into hospital was the right thing. It wasn’t. Although I still believe that going into hospital at 17 as horrible as it was , was necessary to combat my psychosis. I’m still very codependent on my parents. The most frustrating thing is not being able to get away or live without people your not happy with. I cant drive and although I appreciate my family trips to McDonalds its not enough to fix the damage that being in these places has had on me. I feel lethargic a lot I fall asleep during the day and go to bed early at night I struggle to concentrate on TV as most dramas trigger my psychosis. I’ve gained weight , I vomit probably just because of the state I’m in. My parents answer to this is move on. Yet I cant everywhere I go I’m still in that ward.
I struggle to look after myself although I set alarms on my phone , I still struggle to take my tablets or keep my flat clean without my parents help. I want my children to have a better life than me. However currently the only money I get is PIP and universal credit (Im getting a donate button soon folks)
Probably the worst thing is i’m too depressed to write , the best piece Ive ever written, reading it back gives me nausea as it reminds me of a period in my life I don’t want to go back to. Even poetry I feel I can never get right.
I try to go out for walks alone , to smoke instead of eat , to stay up late , to get a job but the comments people have said still come back to me , but what can I do besides stuff my face with jammy dodgers and fall back asleep two hours after ive woken up? I feel inadequate. One of the rare people my age in Scotland that doesn’t have highers and has borderline dementia. Reading a book feels like a mockery.
There are children jumping in front of trains , and grown men throwing bricks through window panes.
An old woman drowning out her sorrow by voting for the devils of tomorrow.
There are qualified girls lining up for food , and young boys disguising their face with a hood.
Polite ladies burning up my book , whilst their dearest darlings get up to no good. Kicking the life out of a man until his lips turn to blue.
For I have seen your likes before , I have already chapped this door and ran away I never stay. In the dark I stiffly lay.
For they are you and they are me. Scotland’s shame to the highest degree.
Sentence me with immortality.
You are people in textbooks no more , which teenagers think are just a bore.
She said It was depressing, but then life always was a bitter lesson.
Why is happiness so hard to find in art? Was a question that plagued my mind today. Maybe its because we’re all miserable cows or perhaps its because most adults don’t relate to tales about happy, content little bunny rabbits.
As a child, I was as joyful as most but as I grew I became more withdrawn and well. Depressed. Neurosis plagued me from a young age. Whenever we played piggy in the middle I was always the piggy who could never catch any of my friends. In team sports, I was always last to be picked. At playtime, my peers always had better biscuits and would never share with me. Bitter resentment grew in me towards life. I wanted an answer. I wanted the truth. Books were a source of escapism for me. As cliche as it sounds, I was the book worm of the class. Yet I wouldn’t say this made me the smartest. I still struggled with figures and somehow my reports never got a place on that wall, nor did I get into the final of the scots verse team despite having a passion for burns from a young age. I can still recite Epistle To Hugh parker word for word a poem that was forgotten and pushed into the shadows by most.
In high school, it seemed my anxiety came to a peak. Out of the hundreds of young adults, I struggled to find friends. Yet this wasn’t a place you wanted to be associated with books at lunchtimes, or at least not in my school. At break times I would line up in the dinner card que only for the single reason not to look like a loner. I cared too much about what people thought, but don’t we all?
However back to the question at hand. Why is art so depressing. Or why are artists so depressing. Why did Plath put her head in an oven, why did Van Gough paint beautiful flowers and then chop off his ear and then later blow out his brains? Why are we all so mental? Is it because life is mental, do we deep down need a reason as to why we exist? Why did Stalin and Hitler kill millions? Why did Andrew Carnegie exploit his workers despite growing up poor, why did burns preach about freedom then desire to be a slave driver? Why? Why? Why? We Ask. I wish I could give you an answer. Pain, money, hate, emptiness, mental illness. Death.
I think my opinion is that we need art to give us a reason to live. We see ourselves through others. It gives us meaning. Perhaps it’s not that art is depressing, maybe it’s just too close to the truth.
I previously on this blog did a letter to 18-year-old me when I was 17. I’ve actually succeeded in accomplishing some of my goals (Like yes losing my virginity) . I am also probably now a border line alcoholic so I’ve completed the drinking goal (Damn those cocktails) However some things such as my health improving or going to a music festival have stayed the same if not gotten worse. The answer to that question are things overall better? No there not. They are WAY WORSE!! Anyway, lets begin a letter to 21-year-old me.
How’s the blog have you reached lets say 300 followers we’ll aim high. That’s 200 followers in two years that’s reachable.
Have you sat your Higher English yet? Please say yes
Are you in your own place? If not I feel very sorry for you
A sinister one but have you killed yourself yet? I hope not you weak piece of shit.
Are you pregnant I’m not sure if I would be happy or sad for the answer to that?
Are you working do you finally have a Job ?
Is the psychosis and low mood any better?
Are you overall more content?
That’s it folks for my letter to 21 year old me. Please like and follow.
1.sometimes people are wrong. Wither its your parents or proffesionals sometimes it better just not to listen.
2.Stay In School No matter how hard it gets. When people say you’l regret it you honestly will. Dont give in to opression. As the quote goes education is our greatest weapon.
3 Avoid psyciatric hospitals at all costs. You know when you hear about writers being depressed its kinda a sterotype.Honestly being admited to hospital will make your health so much worse as no one wants to be degraded and treated like shit the way they do in hospital.
4.Its ok not to be ok- Sometimes you have to give yourself a break. No ones perfect and you probably are doing your best. Minus the breakdown.
5.Remember who the real enemy is – You may have had a bad experience in life that turns you bitter. You may look for someone to blame your family , your friends , yourself. You have to remember that its not these peoples fault. Its just the fascist society we live in. If anything its moneys fault because the world revolves around it.
6.Go easy on the chocolate – As nice as it is. You will gain weight.
7.Smoking isnt always bad – All you see over the packets of ciggerettes are warnings not to do it. Honestly though I think smoking has helped me. It helps mask panic attacks , gets me to go outside more which elievates depression , helps me mentain my weight and can be used as inspiration. Most of my ideas for poems and prose pieces have happend over a fag. To be honest I wish Ide started it sooner.
8.Its hard being a young woman – I know. Its hard being a woman. Its hard being second best. If your poor and a woman its hard being like 10th best. Try and do things that empower you and help convince you your not just scum of the earth. Read books by female authors watch films with female actresses , listen to music sung by females. Go to clubs with other woman. Just know that we all feel the same.
9.ts Natural to worry about the future – Will I ever get a job? Will I be a bad mother? Will my partner leave me ? Its natural
10.Dont let other people bring you down – This kinda ties into my first suggestion. Dont listen to nasty people. Dont listen when your called a bum , dont let it get to you when people at the Job centre look down their snots at you. You are great, you are you!!!
Ann lay with the sheets pulled up to her noes so that it covered her cheeks which were numbed from the cold. The darkness hung around her the silhouettes of what little objects she possessed lit up by a stream of pure light that slunk through a gap in the lace blinds that covered her window. She reached out running her slim fingers over the shaped holes in the yellowed material. A musty smell cast off them filling her lungs and making her splutter her throat burning. When she was little she’d had, the same sounding cough a great whooping one, one that made her father awaken from his sleep in the dead of night and run through to her bedroom to see if she was alright. Coughs weren’t the same when you were a child, it could have been scarlet fever or polio it sent her father into a state. If she ever had one he would run himself down accusing himself of not feeding them well enough, when in reality it was never the fault of an individual. Now her cough came from the city smog, the pollution off the factories that stuck to your skin and hair or the damp that grew from the walls where she was housed.
She rolled over, turning her back to the light and staring into the pitch black. She could feel the cold nip at her legs as she lay in only her thin vest, the thick blanket over her shoulders the only thing covering the vulnerability of her bare flesh. Not that long ago she had lay in this bed with another body whose strong arms had wrapped around her chest and whispered bliss into her ear with his warm sweet breath. She had caved in, in those moments safe in a gentleman’s arms. Just outside had lay the cruelty, poverty, decay and the selfish desperation of her fellow humans. Survivors only at the expense of another. No. She wasn’t good. No number of acts could make her pure. As no human was. We are simply animals run on fear and instinct, poisoned and diluted by intellect. No one individual was evil. Only a society could be that. A facade of the masses that hid the cruellest acts of torture, oppression, and evil in plain sight.
That night had been a one-night stand with a high ranked man in the forces. Not a working man from the pit or the site. He was not one who would be drinking in a pub around her bit. He wasn’t their “kind”. He had fair skin and hair along with clean manicured figure nails, and polished boots. A white-collar boy. He’d lured her to him. Slid up to her at the bar and made her laugh easily. Had her in the palm of his hand from the first sentence. It made her feel special that he’d picked her. She was nothing. He’d paid for her drinks and joined her at her table filling her with lager shandes after a Friday shift. They’d chatted and laughed for hours about the cold weather, his work and politics. She wasn’t very aware of politics. She’d heard rumours of the suffrage movement going on in the cities although had not seen much in the newspapers they tended to ignore it, didn’t like to give it the attention even if it be negative treated it as a disease they feared would spread. Here in a small industrial town most woman lived in the dark over the topic. She knew her older brother voted liberal the party in power at present. And whenever he talked about it he would swear a lot. This man was a member of the conservative party and said for a fact there was to be a war. She’d dismissed it as guff. They’d never be a war. Not now with all the new technology, bombs and artillery they had nowadays. They weren’t that stupid. They’d kill us all. At eleven the pub was closing up and they had been thrown out by the barman with the other late-night stragglers. A group of men from the pits, a lone chubby man, and a thin ragged alchy. Outside the rain had been pissing it down and they’d made a spur decision to seek shelter at the bookies. He’d placed a bet on one of the horses in her name chucking on ten pound the equivalent of three months’ wages. “It will win” he’d announced. He’d a confidence and asserted way to him she’d marvelled at. He held himself up straight. There seemed to her no doubt that plagued his mind. Not like them here where they doubted themselves constantly wither they could put food on the table or heat their frail bones, constantly straining to not sink to the bottom.
“Why was I always suffering , always browbeaten ,always accused , for ever condemned ? ” – Charlotte Bronte
In this post ide like to touch on my experience of a Scottish psychiatric hospital. I have been in hospital twice. The first time so awful I can barely write about it and the second a more pleasant ride. The first thing to note is there is not much difference from a prison. You get dished out the same food for instense some kind of mash potatoe , and lumpy custard washed down by weak diluten juice. Maybe you would get more freedom you would say ? Nope you are trapped behind locked doors with the only entertainment some badly written detective novel and some worn out game of snakes and ladders. Overall the hospitals are pretty dire and could be used as a method to increase suffering.
In the morning you line up for your medication like queing to be served in Primark. Except a lot more drained and fatigued. You get dished out some yellow anti psycotics and nausating tasting anti depressents and swallow them down heavily with luke warm water. Then you go through to the “lounge” to get your tea and cold toast and settle down to watch a nice channel four drama made Before Christ. At around ten ocklock you slump back to your bay pull the curtains and collapse into a mid morning nap. To wake two hours later feeling like your mouth is some African desert and the only thing you have to quench your thirst is some stale jug of water from the night before.
At this point you pull out your granny pants and leggings and some oversized pink t-shirt which is supposed to make you look sexy but instead just makes you look like a giant marshmallow , and brave the shower. Only to discover the hot water is not working yet make the wise decision to keep quiet convincing yourself a freezing cold shower might just be the cure to bring you out of your deep depression.
The rest of the day is a blure spent doing crosswords very badly and using up all your mobile data watching YouTube videos on pointless items people have bought out of Home Bargains. All this of course is disturbed by patients swearing and shouting in distress and doors beeping as smokers ferry in and out. Then after your evening meal. It hits you. The reason your in there. Thoughts of sucide. It seems that putting yourself in such a vulnerable uncontrollable position of being a patient in a psychiatric ward takes it’s toll on you and makes you just want to end it.. Overcourse you can’t cause your supervised twenty four seven by nurses and your probably too much of a chicken anyway. Then your mum comes in to visit and all is resolved. As you realise no matter how bad your problems are your mum’s always top them.