Tuesday, 13 February 2018

This time last year.

This time last year, my life was in chaos. For once, not even a self induced chaos, but an unavoidable life circumstances chaos. This time last year, my nan had had her stroke (yes, the one I found her on the bathroom floor after) and she was in hospital. My life was a constant mad rush of doing my night shifts, doing the half hour drive to the hospital everyday I could, looking after my niece, and seeing family I'd not seen for a very long time.
This time last year though, I had hope. At this point I'm pretty sure I still thought there was a strong chance that she would come home. I knew she wouldn't be the physically capable woman that she'd been before. But I thought she'd be coming home to stay for a while. Instead, fairly quickly that idea was replaced by the harsh reality that she was indeed coming home. But she wasn't coming to stay. We were bringing her home to pass away where she wanted to.

I'm not sure what the point of this post is going to be really. It helps to sit and talk about it I think, and yes I know this isn't really talking. It's typing to myself, but it still helps. Just sit here and say whatever I want to. I'm struggling to get the image of the hospital out of my mind at the moment. I know that will pass. At the end of January, the only image I had was of her on the bathroom floor after I found her that Tuesday night.

Sometimes I can't get over the journey I've been on since. In the last year I've done things that I never thought I would do. Like I think I've said before, I started 2017 by saying to people "nothing will change this year, I'm going to just stay comfortable" and then of course everything changed. Literally everything. I started the year with a part time job, a crappy relationship-type thing, my nan and a dog. I ended it doing part time work and college, being single and happy, with new friends but no nanny and no dog. Where as this time last year I was dealing with the hospital chaos, this year I'm in the midst of  a 'normal' life chaos. I'm fighting off assignment deadlines, university interviews, early mornings at work. I've got new friends (who are probably some of the best people I've ever met in my entire life. Seriously.)

Right now I'm sat here looking at my Cancer Research Unity bracelet. For the first time in my life, I donate to Cancer charities as someone who has actually had cancer affect my life. This time last year I was just donating because it made me feel better. Now I donate because I fully understand the work they do. Literally, any single one I come across.

Tuesdays are still my least favourite day of the week, and I don't think that will ever change. Tuesday is still the day grandad passed away on, the day we buried him on. The day nan had her stroke. The day I feel the most lonely and the least motivated of them all.

I got my hair dyed today. I got all the blonde taken out, and a fair bit of length cut off the ends. I love it, but now all I can think is that I wonder if my nan would like it. She used to be my guide on when my hair needed doing. She would start making comments about how ratty it was looking, how long my roots were, how bad my ends were. I used to love going to get my hair done, yes it helped that a lot of the time she'd help me out in paying for it (bless her heart) but now I can't stand getting it done, or anything to do with my hair. If anyone tells me it needs doing I ignore them. In my mind, even a year later it's still my nan's job to tell me when to get my hair done. Like the time she sent me back before a night out when I'd backcombed my hair, to go and brush all the tangles out. I love the fact I have those memories. But I hate the fact that they are memories now. How hard it is that your best friend is just a beautiful memory now. Even harder that there is no way of changing that.

Love from,
Rose-Marie

P.S I got my first university place offer the other week. Check me out.

Friday, 29 December 2017

I'm still the same person.

Every now and then, someone tries to tell me how strong I am. Not physically strong, anyone who knows me knows that I have about the strength of a feather. But internally strong.
After all, I chose a job where I constantly have to think of other peoples wants and needs over my own. Where I help look after people until they take their last breath. I've supported people so confused they're fearing for their lives at 2 o'clock in the morning. And yet every time it comes round to my shift, off I go.
I helped nurse my Nan until her dying moments. I found her on the floor after a stroke and called 999. I sat next to her bed nearly every day for 47 days knowing that she was dying.
I'm studying to become a nurse to help people in their darkest, dying moments.
That's what a strong person does, right?

Who knows. Because that's what I do every day and I am far from being strong.

I'm still the person that is convinced everyone is going to leave them. I'm still the person that believed it when an ex-boyfriend told me I should prepare to be alone forever because I'm 'unlovable'. I'm still the person that's answered phone calls where people who should know better have described in accurate detail how much they hate me. I'm still the person who panics when their iMessage tone goes off anytime after 9pm.
Every time I say good bye to someone, I'm convinced I'm never going to see them or speak to them again. I'm still the person that goes over everything I said or did, regardless of who I've been hanging out with to work out if I said something that will make them hate me and never talk to me again. I'm still the person that can't believe anyone when they tell me they like me, or they think I'm a good person. Sometimes I'm still that person who stayed up until the early hours of the morning searching for train times, trying to chose the right one to step in front of. I'm still the person who scratched their arm to pieces and then pretended I had no idea how it happened. 
I'm still the person terrified of being alone after once being told that I would 'die alone, cold and hungry' when I was an old lady. I'm still the person that panics when someone doesn't text or call me back, I still sit there and try to work out what it was that I did wrong. Sometimes in my attempts to work it out I make it even worse. I still cry myself to sleep trying to work out if I'll ever be normal. I'm still the person with the nervous habits. The Restless Leg Syndrome, the need to keep my hands busy when I'm worried.

I'm always going to be that person. Even when I'm doing better or I'm feeling confident in myself and my choices, I have to make those decisions knowing that the person I don't want to be is only just a few steps behind me, and will always catch me.


This isn't the post I'd like to be making at the end of this year, so I'll try and fit in another one if I get the chance. Most of this year I'd tried to adapt the thinking of that no matter what happens, the tide will still come in and out. The sun and the moon will still rise. The stars will still come out at night. My family and my real friends will still love me. If you've ever had the misfortune to have a brain programmed and chemically balanced like mine is, then you know how hard it can be to keep that constant positive thought in your mind. Like I said, I'm always going to be 'that person', and those thoughts are always going to be there.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Communication.

Communication.
Something so simple for most people, yet so complicated for me. For all the hard work I've done to my mental health over the last few years, my issues with communication are something that no one has ever really been able to fix.

For a long time communication has been used against me. My dad has done it, I choose not to speak about my parents on this blog. My old friends have done it, and every single one of my ex-boyfriends has done it. Whenever there is a small gap in conversation with someone, my brain just goes in to over drive. It doesn't matter who it is, my brain really isn't that fussy. It can be a friend, someone I'm interested in, or even someone I don't know that well.

In the past people have used communication as a way to let me know they think I've done something wrong. If they didn't like something I said, then they wouldn't speak to me for a few days/hours. If I put something on Facebook they didn't like, they'd post a status and start a public conversation with someone else whilst ignoring me. For example, one particularly vile ex decided to just ignore me for days on end, just dropped out mid conversation. Then told me off for trying to get in contact with them during that time, because I was supposed to telepathically know that they were ignoring me because they wanted to break up with me. Eventually the silence ended when they dumped me by text at 1am when they were drunk and told me I was psycho. Another one would make plans with me, then turn their phone off, leaving me sat there ready and waiting to go out until eventually I'd get back in to my pyjamas, take my makeup off and go to bed. Even just friends, I have some that just dropped off the face of the earth, some that just spoke to me to make themselves feel better about their lives. Even still if one my (granted very small) group of friends can't reply for a period of time, I decide that I must have done something that will offend them and I will never hear from them again.

My brain tells me in equal parts that if someone isn't talking to me then they're probably just busy, but also that if they aren't talking to me that I'm never going to hear from them again. I've never known conversation to be so important and so detrimental to someone at the same time.


So yeah. Conversation, especially of the text/phone call/social media kind, is not something that I fare well with. I just can't help it. I wish I knew how to fix it. I bring it up with every counselor I've ever had but nothing anyone tries to do help me manages to penetrate through all the bad memories my brain is storing about the past and these peoples actions. Of course it massively affects me being to form and maintain normal friendships/relationships/bonds with people. It takes a special kind of person to know that I'm not a complete weirdo, that I'm just damaged.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Remembering.

I'm half way through a psychology essay for my college course. But as usual on a Saturday, just as the week is ending, and a new week is beginning, I feel a bit down.

I was watching a film (I always write with Netflix on in the background) and basically, the girl in it was living the same day over and over until she learnt the right lessons, and eventually she died. In a very dramatic and heartfelt monologue at the end, she discusses that she lived her last day as how she wanted to be remembered. It got me thinking how easy it is when someone dies to let the grief take over and to just think that they are gone. It's a long time before you can remember what you want to from them.

For example. Thanks to my Grandad, I remember the importance of a hug, of always making up after an argument. I remember when you have a cold to not leave the house without a packet of tissues and throat sweets. I remember what a difference it can make to be a quiet, gentle, yet solid presence in someones life. I remember that the best way to get toast out of the toaster when it get's stuck is to turn it off at the wall, and use something sharp with a wooden handle. I remember the smallest thing you do can make the biggest difference to someone.

Thanks to my Nanny, I remember that you should always brush your hair and look your best before you leave the house (this was the lady who insisted on changing her skirt before going off to A&E with a head injury after all). That sometimes in an argument you just need to back down. I remember that if you love someone, you fight to protect them with all that you have, but you never indulge them. She taught me that if you're right, you don't back down (which relates me back to my previous point of sometimes you need to back down in an argument!) I remember that manners don't cost a penny and that people appreciate them.

Both of them left a legacy that will long survive them. Both of them made me, and anyone they spent time with, a better person than they would have been without them. For a long time I will think of them in their later stages in their hospital beds, and there's not much I can do about that. But at the same time, I'll remember everything I learnt from them. And while the image of them in their last days will fade, the lessons and the person they shaped me in to will last forever.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Oh hey. More bad news.

All I ever do is come on here and tell anyone who's reading my bad news and have mini emotional breakdowns these days.

The newest one is because I have had a "24 hour stomach bug" for 23 hours now and it shows no sign of letting up, at all. I've had to miss my first proper day of lessons at college and at this rate I'll be missing the second as well.

The other one is that my dog died last week. We had to have her put to sleep. The vets came to the house and did it where she was comfortable, but there is nothing more heartbreaking than loving something that is about to die. You know how I know that? This is the second time this year I've had to do that, and the third time in my life.

So yeah. Life is fabulous right now. Anyway, I'm off to be sick. Bye.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Flash backs.

Every now and then recently I've started to suffer from flash backs. Anything can trigger them, a sight, smell, sound or emotion, then before I know it I feel like I'm back in the past again. I have a few specific ones that happen time and time again. I'm wondering if flash backs are like dreams, you know how people reckon if you have a nightmare and talk about it then you won't have that same dream again? I don't know. It's worth a try because these flash backs are starting to grate on my little brain.

The most common one is when I'm sat at home doing nothing, just letting my mind drift off to where it wants to go. For some reason it likes to take me to a specific moment during what I refer to as "The Breakdown" where I'm laying on my bed in the middle of the day, wrapped in my dressing gown, alternating between sobbing and staring in to space, while my mum tries desperately to snap me out of it. I remember how over heated I was wrapped in my grey stripey dressing gown, and now I think how ridiculous I must have looked. I mean my dressing gown has EARS. Imagine this small, stripey, flannel, cat-eared thing laying in a ball on the bed making over the top crying noises. Then almost as suddenly as I was in that moment, I'm back in the present moment.

Sometimes during the night when I wake up at 3am, I remember when also during that time, I was sat in my bed with the spotlight off, and the lamp on, again I was crying, and I was on Google on my iPad. I'd searched the train times of the train stations nearest to me, and was sat there staring at them.

Another one I get a lot at work. I'll be walking in to someones room in the middle of the night, and I'll hear the sound of their nursing bed. Before I know it I'm travelling back to when we were nursing my nan at home before she passed away. I see it clear as anything, I'm sat next to her bed in my grandads old arm chair, and I can hear the sound of her breathing, and the power pack attached to her bed whirring away, and see her small movements through the bars of her nursing bed. I can see that it's dark outside through the curtains we hung up in a panic the day before she came home.

Sometimes when I walk in the bathroom and look at the floor near the bath, I remember how my nan looked down there when she'd fallen on the floor just seconds after she'd had the stroke. I remember hearing the bang, and running up the stairs. I remember noticing that one slipper had come off, and how her face had fallen to one side. I remember how her voice sounded when she tried to tell me what had happened. I remember there was someone here, and how much I wanted them to leave right then and there but I didn't have it in me to say it.


If it was just the superficial things I remembered from these moments it wouldn't be that bad. But for the few seconds I'm in the flash back, I feel all the emotions exactly as I did before when it was actually happening. For example I remember how much I felt like I could easily walk out my front door and in front of the first train to come along. I remember the point where I realised I couldn't carry on living how I was. I remember the heart break every time I looked at my nan in her hospital bed in her lounge, and how it felt to know that she was dying and there was nothing I could do.


I have to accept that these are important moments in my life, and that's why I remember them so strongly. Those moments are the reason I can look after myself again, and the reason I can function, keep toxic people away from me, and the reason my friends mean so much to me. They are how I can make a decision for myself. They're the reason that I'm going in to nursing, and the reason I have the compassion in my job that I do. I'm never going to forget them, but it would be nice to just remember them, not end up back in the moment every single time.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

A Rant.

It's not fair for people to pick me up and drop me whenever they fancy.
No one else to talk to tonight? Oh I'll message Rosie. The next night my messages will go unanswered.
Need your confidence boosting? Oh I'll give Rosie a call. When you feel better, once again, my messages will go unanswered.
Want to piss someone off that I'm friends with? Let's get Rosie involved. Rope me in to your little game.
Make up with that person? Now we're friends I'll blame it all on Rosie. And then you'll get away with what you did, and I'll end up with no friends.
Need someone to make fun of because of their poor life choices? Is Rosie online? She'll do. How much of my life have I spent being ridiculed when I didn't have a job, or when everyone found out how weird my home life is, or before I got my mental health under control? I don't know, but it was enough that I now know to make the jokes before other people do.
Someone's upset you so you need to ring me up and scream abuse at me down the phone? Let me finish this pint and I'll give her a call. Why not, you always have done.


Everyone reading this is going to tell me how dramatic I'm being, how I've over exaggerated the entire thing, but the sad thing is that I haven't. I've got 3 friends in my life that have never done that to me, and those three friends will never understand how much love I have for them. The friends that pulled me back from the brink when everyone else was trying to push me off for their own entertainment. The people that tried to push me? They're all fine. They're swanning around with things in life that I could only ever dream of having. I'm still fighting a daily battle in my mind just to be able to hold a normal conversation, and to make sure I never end up back at my worst point. The point where I was sat in bed sobbing at 3am, searching the train times and the nearest train track, so I knew how much longer I had before I could walk out of the house and throw myself in front of one. There. That's how close I was to ending it all, just over a year ago.

I'm sorry I can't live my life like a normal person, but I'm not a normal person. I've spent my entire life trying to be a normal functioning human being until I couldn't take it anymore. For example, when I was 16-18 I was a normal, exciting person. In a world full of Margarita pizzas, I was a Pepperoni, nothing fancy but  there was a bit more life to me, I didn't care about fitting in, I had a Dora The Explorer backpack for gods sake. I had light in my eyes, and dreams and ambitions. Over the next few years, the light gradually dulled until it just wanted to turn off entirely. To get that light back on, I had to just become the lowly Margarita pizza. I have to stick to routines and medications to keep myself going. I have to surround myself with things, and people I know. I can't just do spontaneous things anymore. For example I have to do a bedtime routine every night to help me sleep because I know that getting enough sleep helps to keep me out of the previous depression and anxiety ridden phases of my life. I have to not see people or speak to people that I'd love too, because I need to look after myself now. I can't make attachments to people because I can't cope. I can't ever risk going back where I was in the past. If that means I have to stay a generic, boring, routine Margarita pizza, then so be it I guess.