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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

A Fine Line...!

Writing about my life with mental illness really helps me, it’s cathartic to write my thoughts down.

I made the decision to share my muddled mind through this blog because (though I’m far from recovery and therefore not really qualified to advise) I felt that sharing my experiences might help other sufferers feel less isolated.
I hope that by my telling it how it is someone somewhere will find some relief in reading. 

Having said that I do worry (a lot!) that being too honest about some of my mental health symptoms may do more harm than good and it’s for that reason I’m going to suggest that if you're feeling particularly vulnerable at the moment you don’t read any further into this post…. 
"There's a Fine Line between incredible strength and Can't Take Anymore." quote via @stuckinscared | Mental Health | Mental Illness.
In recent months I’ve had various conversations with friends (some via twitter, one face to face) who have recently self - harmed or are struggling with thoughts or urges relating to self - harm.
One lady (heartbreakingly) confided that she is mentally making plans to re home her pets because she feels suicidal and is concerned that she might act on these feelings leaving her pets uncared for.  

Some of the people I spoke to have complex mental health issues (some have physical disabilities too) and they all told me that their self- harm and/or suicidal thoughts are related to fear of their current or anticipated WCA (Work capability assessment).

Of course I know from personal experience that paranoid fear, irrational thoughts and an inability to cope with change often go hand in hand with mental illness, however, given the treatment that so many have endured at these DWP assessments interrogations it’s hardly surprising that so many sick & disabled people feel incredibly anxious at the moment.

People are desperately afraid - overwhelmed with fear - deeply affected by right wing ‘scrounger’ propaganda and very concerned about their future. 
They’re terrified by even the idea of having to expose themselves (face to face) at a ten minute (tick box) assessment (to a complete stranger) who is unlikely to be qualified to assess mental illness and even less likely to empathise. They are also despairingly aware that even if they are lucky enough to qualify for benefit it won't be long before the process begins again!  

Many are self - harming some feel suicide may be a better option than continuing to battle both debilitating mental illness and the ‘powers that be’.
Many are far sicker now (under a system that in many cases claims they are fit for work) than they were under the previous system which recognised that they were NOT fit for work and supported them accordingly.

Am I afraid? Yes I’m afraid, Very afraid. 

Has my own tendency to self - harm increased as a direct result of the coalition’s attitude towards disabled people?
Yes!  Though I’m ashamed to admit it my own self harming behaviour has increased both in severity and frequency.

Do I want to continue living with this daily, nightly overwhelming, debilitating fear? 
NO! Oh God no, it’s too much, too much….!  
I can’t see an end to it and my own symptoms have been greatly exacerbated.

Do I feel suicidal? - Do I wish I were dead?
Those of you who know me either through contact or through my writing will already know the answer to this question! You’ll know that I am and always have been terrified of death. You will have read here >> Scared to shut my eyes! about my overwhelming fear of death as a child, you’ll know how terrifying my intrusive thoughts are and how often they relate to fear of death.

NO - I don’t feel suicidal, I have NEVER felt suicidal no matter how much life, other people (or my own mind) has thrown at me. - No - I don't wish I were dead.

I  don’t now and I didn’t in 1986 when life, other people (and my own mind) caused me to suffer a complete mental breakdown and I attempted to take my own life.

I don’t remember how I got to my bedroom that evening with a full bottle of ‘paracetamol’ and a pint glass of water. I don’t remember planning or contemplating suicide or for one single moment wishing I was dead.
I don’t remember thinking about my 8 month old baby or wondering how he would cope without me.
I don’t remember feeling suicidal, I don’t remember wanting to die.

I DO vaguely remember taking the pills.
There was no lining up of tablets like you see on TV, no thoughts, no fear, no emotion, no tears, there was *nothingness*.
I tipped the pills from bottle to mouth (how I swallowed so many at once is beyond me) and washed each mouthful down with water until there were no more pills to take.

There are some blurry (vague) memories after that, my first husband slapping me very hard (this confused me) – baby crying - arriving at hospital in an ambulance – a black tarry substance  - gagging on a tube - a drip – a white ceiling through a strange tunnel vision, then blank again.  Days of nothing, no thoughts, no emotion – *nothingness*….!

I have never ‘contemplated’ suicide BUT in ‘1986’ (20  years old without so much as a passing thought for the first of my five children) I very nearly succeeded in taking my own life….!

I had a point when I started writing today and I’m not sure if I’ve succeeded in making it, so briefly  -  For many mental ill (and, indeed, physically ill) people - there is a very fine line between incredible strength, and *can’t take anymore*.  
I am deeply concerned that the UK Governments relentless cuts & cruel propaganda are pushing many already vulnerable people worryingly close to - *can’t take anymore*.

I'm 27 years on, I'm still here and my fifth child (my last baby) is nagging me to move away from the lap top and use my imagination. I cannot stress enough how thankful I felt this evening when she rolled in from school and threw her smiley, gorgeous self into my arms. Life is tough at the moment, it has been to varying degrees for as long as I can remember but I feel incredibly blessed to be here.
"With Every Heartbeat there is Hope" Quote via @stuckinscared

Father, I pray your protection this day and always over the lives of all sick and disabled people. 
I pray peace for those who are oppressed, despairing, afraid and strength for those who are close to giving up.
I’m weighed down with their despair and with my own. I want to do something, make a difference - I don’t know how!
I’m open to suggestions Lord, in the meantime I place me and mine and them and theirs into your hands.  Amen.

Thank you as always for allowing me to share.

GOD bless you and all those you love

Kimmie x                             Copyright©2013kimmie All Rights Reserved


  1. great to have you writing again. I have never understood the SH thing its something that seems so alien to me.

  2. Thanks for reading Garry and for encouraging me to get back over here! :O) X

  3. Another moving blog which I'm sure many will relate to. I wanted to read more....

  4. Thank you Michelle, There will be more, it's cathartic to throw my mind muddle your way lol X

  5. Thank you for writing. It's so hard to clarify these things when you're in the middle of them. We desperately need to support everyone feeling panicked by the current situation and all I can say is I know there are more of us who feel people who find themselves in need of support should get it. I just think we're being duped at the moment into thinking these things can't be funded. All we can do is keep each other going and wait for light at the end of the tunnel.
    Please try to keep going for all our sakes.

  6. Thank you Jan for your compassion and empathy.
    For many disabled people in the UK at the moment it must seem that the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off....!

    Your right, it is very important we keep sharing our experiences and concerns and supporting each other through these incredibly worrying times'

    There is always a light at the end of the tunnel and we must keep pushing toward it.

    God bless you and yours

    Kimmie x

  7. Honest & Brave Post Kimmie, resonates deeply. All best lovely xxx

  8. Thank you Jayne, My own fear aside it worries me greatly that so many people are living with such fear and despair.

    All the best to you and yours

    Kimmie x

  9. I can really relate to alot of what you've written .......wishing you all the best for the future :-) take care xx

  10. I am so sorry you are hurting. I'm so glad you are alive - your blog is such a blessing.

    Everyone is irreplacably unique and precious - God doesn't make junk (psalm 139). Some people treat others like junk and mistreat them and it is normal for the mistreated to feel like junk if their buttons are pressed enough (because they are human, they are not defective, just human like everyone else and internalise the false accusations of some others who infer they are skivers or undeserving etc. Those who condemn others for getting down just havent had their buttons pressed to the point they internalise the lies of others about themselves).

    Sometimes I have to go to my bible to remind myself of the truth - especially in these times when unjust actions and attitudes are called "good" or "normal" or "striving" or being "fair", in order to help me to fend off the lies and cruelty in some people's attitudes towards people who are really suffering including a lot of suffering caused by the unjust choices of others.

    I hope (and pray) that you and any readers who are going through bad times themselves or are hurting in empathy because of all the needless suffering going on will feel the presence of God when you feel alone and everyday experience something good, a little ray of sushine so to speak.

    I know that when people are skint and can't afford food or not able to cook or "grieving" and their appetite is poor so they aren't able to enjoy the food they should have as human beings, or when they haven't been able to sleep well or when they are alone a lot of the time etc. so their normal human physical and emotional needs are not met, they will be more down. They are not defective, they just happen to have a human body and mind like everyone else. My bible says God is pleased when people are kind and extra careful to be fair and not mistreat people when they are suffering.

    Wishing you some sunshine and good things today, and praying that
    the injustice will stop, and soon.
    p.s. I put you and the other British bloggers and journalists and lawyers and others who care about what is going on on some prayer lists and I wish you all well. I wish I could send some money to help in practical ways with all the suffering going on but I am broke. Also, if I got too religious and offended anyone because of the cruelty of some who are fake Christians, sorry.
    All the best.

  11. I couldn't find one with pretty pictures of the countryside, but I hope you enjoy it:
    (Fernando Ortega - If you were mine on youtube)

  12. God bless you for your empathy and kindness (which I'm sure he will)
    Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to reach out to those who are suffering.
    I'm sure your comments will be a blessing to many....They have been to me.
    I will look up the youtube link....Thank you

    God bless you and all those you love

    Kimmie x

  13. Right ill try this again.

    Can't reply to yours or mollies dms keep being put in twitter jail even if I'm not on twitter. Coping meh wtf is that it's ranging from bad to terminally bad. Trying to keep afloat but seriously failing right now. Ill make it through somehow.


  14. Thanks for letting us know hun....I'm assuming you can still read DM's (just not reply) so have replied in more detail there :) x

  15. I too have struggled with self harm. For the person who said they struggle to understand it - feeling the pain and seeing the blood fills you with a kind of euphoria (apparently caused by endorphins in the body reacting to the injury!) and you feel that everything is great for a short while, this is why it is addictive. - I used to do it at night because then I would sleep well. Now I struggle to sleep well and am using alcohol as a crutch instead! Not a good situation! I stopped self harming coz I was going away with my parents and didn't want them to see. I have now been SH free for almost 2 months but always struggle with the temptation to go back to it in order to feel that peace and wellbeing again. But I fear that if I start again now I will have no reason to stop and it will get totally out of hand. I too write a blog to try and sort my brain and emotions out, it helps! I am lucky that I do not have the ESA struggles (I have fibromyalgia as well as depression) my company are allowing me to work 3 hours a day from home, this with my DLA allows us to survive. My boyfriend's incapacity benefit was stopped with the switch to ESA so he is forced to work. He was getting better enough to do a bit but he will never be able to do a full time job, luckily he has got into a field where he can do what he enjoys self employed part-time but there is no extra support for him financially even though he is only capable of part-time work. So at present we rely on me which is a lot of pressure! Eventually I know I will end up on the ESA system because I will struggleto work, I dread that day and those going through it have my complete sympathy, it is an awful system.

  16. I glad to hear you are managing to control your urge to self harm (small steps) :o)
    Your right it is a very cruel system, I hope that before your forced to claim ESA there will be some improvements in it.
    Have you seen It's part of a campaing that calls for a repeal of the current system and a fairer deal for sick and disabled. You will find it on twitter under #WOWpetition

    Have a look if you haven't already, it's probably something you and your partner will be interested in signing.

    Thanks for taking the time to connect with me here :)

    God bless you and yours

    Kimmie x

  17. Thank you for expressing emotions that so many of us feel. I don't have a mental illness but the fear and despair I feel around the WCA and now the Work Programme, compelling me to undertake activities that I'm too ill to do, has caused some symptoms of mental illness in me of panic, anxiety and depression. I can't imagine how a person with a prior mental health condition could cope with the organised harassment and persecution that mindless government policies are subjecting us to.

    1. Had a lump in my throat reading this,both myself and my husband, have just about arrived at the cant take any more stage. Keep waiting for a glimpse of light,but still there is none,as yet. Government DWP ministers,seem to be on a runaway train,not caring who they leave,behind,as collateral damage. Life is now Dire! And just an existence,wondering how much more,the government will do, unchallenged! Before the cant take any more stage ,is over. Thank you for your thoughts

  18. Aw hun, I'm so sorry you're one of the many people suffering at the hands of this awful government.
    Do you follow the people from #WOWpetition, >> @WOWcampaign on twitter? .... The tide is slowly turning, there is reason to hope now (though we're a while from winning) slowly each day there are more and more messages of support and news of opposition filtering through.
    If your not already involved (even if only as a RT'er like me) it may help you to connect with them. I have found the support to be amazing....TBH it's what gets me through the day at the mo :)

    God bless you and yours, I'm not sure if we are already connected on twitter or not but incase we're not I'm @stuckinscared
    Take care hun

    Kimmie x

  19. Thank you for sharing yourself like this. So beautifully written and utterly vulnerable. You give us permission to open ourselves to our own mental pain for personal release and assistance of others.

    1. Thank you Petula, both for reading and for taking the time to connect with me here. I'm glad something in my writing spoke to you especially if it in some way enables you to open up about your own experiences.
      God bless you and yours, Kimmie x

  20. The saddest part of this post is reading how the new system is making people sicker :(

    1. It is incredibly sad, overwhelmingly so!
      Thanks so much for reading and sharing.

      God bless

      Kimmie x

  21. For the longest time we in the US have been without access to health care for all, and I've assumed places where that has been available longer are generally more enlightened about disability and mental illness. This makes it so clear how vigilant we must be to ensure that government sponsored benefits are administered fairly, smartly, and compassionately. Your description of the suicide attempt reminds me so vividly of how my sister described her own - she didn't want to die, she just wanted to stop her pain. "I just wanted to be a brick that didn't feel anything." You are one brave lady, Kimmie. I am glad to know you.

    1. Paula, Thank you for taking time out today to read and comment here (I know you're busy today) - I'm so very glad to know you too.

      I'm sorry your sister had (may still have?) mental health issues that hurt her so badly, your compassionate nature (which without ever meeting) you is very clear to me must have been such a comfort to her.

      God bless you lovely lady

      Kimmie x

  22. Hi Kimmie, Your stuff is stand alone good. You don't need to dilute it with the intercessory stuff. We have it in our grasp to solve mental health and it is the responsibility of all humanity to open our hearts to it. To me prayer is the ultimate proof that spiritual ears are deaf. Your work is too important and like many others sharing your concern 'we are listening'.

    1. Hi Ropey, I'm sorry, I missed your comment on the 13th, just found it today roaming around the blog.

      I wasn't aware that my ending each post in a positive thought, and prayer was diluting my writing, it's something Iv'e done since I started the blog, primarily because it makes me feel better.

      It's not meant to convert, or offend non believers, it just helps me; especially as OCD (intrusive thoughts) interfere with my ability to pray in the usual way.

      I will continue as Iv'e done, since starting the blog, I do hope it doesn't put you off of coming back though, I value our connection :)

      Take care

      Kimmie x