It is Time

After a trip to South America where at my boarding gate to travel home I stocked up on an insane amount of Roche Valium pills (the good shit) from a lovely, helpful if slightly judgemental woman. As she swiped my debit card to complete the transaction she give me a pitiful look as she handed me the white paper bag…I know what she thought JUNKIE and no amount of Gucci was going to cover that stain.

As the plane took off I felt an unfamiliar feeling..shame. Although I have written about my use of prescription drugs I never believed I had a problem, until the moment her eyes met mine and what little she had in terms of material possessions meant nothing her look of pity etched and burned across my brain.

I stared blankly down at my designer outfit carefully selected for comfort when flying and my patent burgundy Louis Vuitton bag blinding me with the rays of sun captured from my cabin window. I know that inside my bag there is enough Valium to keep me straight for a few months. Usually this would make me feel at ease, even relaxed but not this time.. this time I feel shame and the knowledge that those little blue pills are in there makes me feel sick.

Its time…I NEED TO STOP I NEED TO STOP I NEED TO STOP the same 4 words bounce around my brain as the anxiety rises and rises. ” Are you ok madam” the pretty blonde flight attendant queries I look up realising I am sweating and clawing at my legs. She has a kind face with big blue eyes and her golden hair snatched tightly into a neat bun. ” Fine thank you I am just a nervous flyer” her face softens as she begins a calming speech about how safe it is fly, I nod intently not registering a word she is saying. I have told so many lies over the last 12 months whats one more when the truth is far to real to share.

 

“I love your bag” I clicked out of my mind and give the obligatory thank you as she saunters off down the aisle. Leaning back in my chair I close my eyes taking in hungry deep breaths..what have I become ? ..what have I become?

As the flight continues into the night I look around the cabin as all the passengers sleep the softness of the nightlight casting peaceful shadows around them. I will never take a Valium pill again I whisper to myself over and over again as my body slumps into my chair and my eyes begin to feel heavy the pang of anxiety begins to fade as now I know it is time…it is time.

As I exit the plane I knew if I kept the Valium in my bag I will never be free. My mind on auto pilot I yank the shameful white paper bag out and as I walk to passport control I feel a sense of purpose, of control. I see a bin coming up on my right I stare at it until it becomes nothing more than a blur then like that the pills are gone….for now IT IS TIME I say to myself I allow a little grin to spread across my face as I head to baggage reclaim.

 

 

 

Love Sick Sedation

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Hes gone….I lay frozen in my bed…my heart pumps in my chest as I look around my new apartment..I am alone.

Divorce how did it come to this?

My hands are clammy and the cold shiver of fear teases my body creeping slowly up enveloping me. I am on the edge teetering slowly closer to the dark abyss, will tonight be the day I succumb to it?

My pulse increases to a rapid speed the blood is rushing to my ear drums as the pounding intensifies, I am sweating but I am not hot the sensation adds to the dark loneliness I feel.

I just want to sleep…but my mind has other plans, time to kick into overdrive as my worst fears surface….anxiety is my new friend who haunts me every night.

I hate this feeling, I sit up in a vain attempt to regain composure big mistake my heart is leaping out of my chest. I stand my legs quiver beneath me as I stumble into my living room…calm down it will be ok…he will come back…don’t worry just get through tonight, its just one night…..I try my hardest to trick my brain but the truth trickles through… its over you are alone.

I pace my living floor as my body heats up, my breathing becomes heavy, I rake my hands roughly through my hair…its happening I am losing it. Panic sets in and this attack is going to be big, the assault is ricocheting through my mind and my body is betraying me as I tremble under the weight of my current predicament.

Not tonight..I can’t do this tonight. I dart into my bedroom and reach my quivering hand to my bed side drawer. I know what is in there a medley of prescribed drugs all designed to stop me from dealing with my life…avoidance the greatest gift the NHS has ever afforded me. I rifle through the empty packets, clawing to the back of drawer I retrieve my only viable options…Zopiclone or my old faithful Valium..the choice is easy but I only have 2 pills left.

Fuck it I dry swallow the pills and make a mental note to book another Doctors appointment…I will worry about tomorrow night when it comes. I slump backwards onto my bed and wait.

Euphoria explodes and my anxiety melts away as if it never happened, this is the best feeling and I wish it would stay forever but it never does the sedation sets in. Laying there zoning out of my mind I don’t have a care in the world. I roll myself in my duvet rubbing my face against my pillow…sleep is coming a pure joy sweeps across my body and I think who said a pill couldn’t fix  heart break.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Happy Valium New Year….

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The new year bells toll, I stare out of my flat window into the firework strewn sky…pink, gold, blue and green blaze across the blackness than evaporate into nothingness…I realise that sums up my life, moments of brief elation and joy then quickly consumed by the dark depression that has me locked in its claws.

I cannot shake the feeling that somehow things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. My anxiety starts building, I feel hot, my breath begins to quicken into short tight puffs as the familiar nauseous stomach knot grows, I can taste the bile in the back of my throat…I pop two Valium and dry swallow them…flopping onto my bed, I close my eyes and wait for their warm and calming effect to take hold of me. My Doctor told me benzos are highly addictive and now I know why.

Relief washes over me as my heart rate starts to slow, my eyes feel heavy as my body sinks into the mattress…calm…I feel so calm, my breathing is slow and deep as I lay taking in big gulp full’s watching my chest expand and release. That was close; I almost went into full panic mode. I know one day I will have to face it, but one day is not today.

I am calm now, calm enough to address what 2015 will hold for me. My mind begins to build slow moving imagery for me to digest….I will have that boob job I have been thinking about since I was 18 followed by some lipo to kick start my weight loss, I will get hair extensions long and flowing to my waist, I will get botox to freeze my face so I will look young forever..I will, I will…Even with Valium I cannot completely hide from the reality of what 2015 might bring me…the breakdown of my marriage, a crippling benzo addiction and more weight gain…but what Valium does bring me is the ability not to care.

I am floating in my benzo induced sedation, enveloped inside my goose feather quilt I feel safe. I know my husband is speaking to me but I have no idea what he is saying, everything is moving in slow motion. I blink slowly enjoying the moment my eyelids are closed…sleep will come for me soon, happiness sweeps across my face I lay smiling….sleep my old friend how I have missed you.

A time to be kind….

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I teach my sales staff the importance of reflection ‘Self reflection is a humbling process. It’s essential to find out why you think, say and do certain things…then better yourself’ I am a firm believer in practicing what I preach…But reflecting on a good or failed sale seems far easier than reflecting on yourself. Too really self reflect you need to delve deep inside and pull out the good and the bad which lurks in the darkest parts of your mind. But which is harder looking at the bad and all your flaws or searching for the good and acknowledging them.

For me it is hard to be kind to myself, I set myself unobtainable expectations that I will never achieve and in turn I set the same unrealistic expectations to those close to me. I live in a constant state of intense pressure, which I then place onto those I love…this pressure is the catalyst for my recent bout of depression and anxiety. I have finally reached breaking point after many years of failing and others failing the unreachable goals something has to change, something has got to give.

Today I am writing a self reflection, today I will search for one good quality in me and publically acknowledge it…this may come across arrogant and inflated, believe me I could list all of my flaws and all of the things I could improve both mentally and physically in a heartbeat..But in my quest to beat depression I need to change how I see things, I need to change how I set expectations of myself and those I love…for once I need to be kind to me.

‘Before I ask you to sit with me, I must be able to sit with myself.

Before I ask you to accept my pain, I have to accept the pain myself.

Before I ask you to love me, I have to madly in love with myself’   -C.Thoth

I am caring… I spend a lot of time supporting others and I am constantly putting myself out to help someone in need. This is something I am proud of I like helping people. A lot of my staff are young (late teens-early twenties) although we are all here to do a job, I care about each of them, they are not just a numbers to me, they are people who are all different from each other and all have different needs.

When they come into work I want them to be happy and enjoy working for me, so I make myself available to them as more than just a ‘boss’. I am someone they can talk too, without judgement and I will be there for them. I have supported staff members through a number of issues like bereavement, relationship difficulties, homelessness, domestic violence, alcohol abuse, mental illness and this is just to name a few.

I am not a counsellor and in reality their personal problems are not my concern…this has been said to me a number of times by other Managers in my position and they are right, but I am more than an authority figure, I am human being and if I can help I will, even if it is not what is required of me in my role and even if at times I feel drained, I hate to see people suffer.

There are a few instances where I have made significant differences to people’s lives just by being supportive and offering advice I would like to describe one such instance:

This instance happened a year ago, I had a member of staff who faced a serious crisis with his Mother who suffers from severe mental illness. This particular member of staff was never a problem, he was always happy and always worked hard, out of all my staff he was the one I never had to reprimand or motivate.

This particular day he came in and I could see something was wrong…he was deflated and withdrawn. We always have a sales buzz in the morning where we play a game or have a quiz to lift the spirits for the big day ahead. During this time I observed Wayne** and I could see he was trying very hard to cover up whatever was bothering him.

Once the buzz was finished I took Wayne into a private room and as soon as the door closed he burst into tears, it wasn’t what I expected from this happy go lucky rugby player, so I knew whatever was bothering him must be serious. In times like that it is hard to know what to do, I just did what came naturally and gave him a hug. I didn’t speak I just let him cry and waited for him to be ready to talk to me.

The issue was that his Mother had deteriorated further into her depression and that morning she called him and threatened to end her life. I was not aware Wayne’s mother had mental health problems as he was not one to air his personal problems.

Wayne had nobody to talk too and was scared to inform his Father about his Mother’s mental state, she lived alone and had recently stopped taking her medication, in the past she had attempted suicide. This is a terrible situation for anyone to find themselves in and Wayne who was only 19 years old had nowhere to turn.

I was stuck, this was a unique situation and I needed to ensure the advice I provided was considered. I thought it would be best to highlight this to my superior (with Wayne’s permission). ‘Not our problem, tell him to get on with it or go home if it’s that bad’. WOW not what I expected but then I did not know what to expect, all I knew was I could not just ignore someone in need who had confided in me and is looking for me to do something. So I did the only logical thing I could think of…I ignored my superior.

I grabbed my laptop and went back to speak with Wayne, after some google work I decided that it would be best to call the NHS helpline and alert them of his Mother’s threats hoping to try and get some support in place. Wayne was nervous of how his Mother would react after some long conversations it was agreed.

The outcome was that the NHS sent someone to his Mother’s property and decided she was a risk to herself and felt it would be necessary to place her in their care. This immediately lifted the pressure off of Wayne and more importantly his Mother was getting the support and help she desperately needed. It has been over a year since this incident happened and Wayne’s Mother is doing great she is back in full time employment and now has a solid support system in place.

The day after we both made the call and everyone had left I opened my draw to pack my things away and inside was a box of chocolates and a letter…it was from Wayne and what he wrote really touched me I still have his letter today and sometimes when I feel really down I take it out and read it… I made a difference in someone’s life simply by giving them strength to ask for help. I have never shown anyone the letter or ever spoke of what happened that day.

I believe my approach to people is what makes me so successful, my team are always happy and we always have fun. I meet all of my sales targets and my team are the only ones to do so…I guess that makes us the best. All my staff work exceptionally hard for me and I work hard for them.

I am sitting here now looking at all the poundland decorations we have littered around our working area and I am acknowledging my good quality …I am caring….and I have to say I am feeling pretty damn good about myself…thanks for reading.

I do not have many followers and I do not have many likes and I am cool with that, but if you are taking the time to read my blog please leave a comment…in the spirit of being kind to ourselves…tell me one good quality about YOU…Merry Christmas.

**Name changed to protect privacy I have written this blog with their permission

At Bay

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I have endured a lot of sadness in my life, Professionals I have spoken to use the word ‘traumas’ to describe some of the difficult events and relationships I have struggled with and through.

‘The body always remembers traumas and sometimes one singular event can trigger off old feelings and anxieties’ I am starting to believe that is true as now I am at my lowest ebb, my anxiety is beginning to rule my world like roaring waves hitting a cliff face eroding away what was once strong and tall.

I am not even sure if I ever was ‘strong and tall’ perhaps all the years of pushing back the ‘traumas’ has finally come back to haunt me…Perception is a strange thing I work in sales and have done so all my adult life, I spend my time teaching my staff members how to profile people, understand what makes them tick and to utilize this information to sell them our products…perception..I am clear on. I project how I wish to be perceived with ease…STRONG, INDEPENDENT, GLAMOUROUS, KNOWLEDABLE, DESIRABLE, SUCCESSFUL, AMBITIOUS, PROACTIVE, LOYAL, TRUSTWORTHY….in my business world my reputation precedes me.

But that is not really who I am…it’s just the role I play at work…one that has afforded me great success…I am tired now…really tired…I worry that eventually I will lose face expose my vulnerability and then the vultures will descend to pick at my carcass…for there is one thing I know you can NEVER do and that is show your weakness to sales staff.. They will destroy you and relish in your demise we are nothing but a room full of egos vying for attention..There are no friends here.

I have never truly trusted anybody in my life…nobody really deserved it perhaps that is because I have always swam with sharks, it’s been a hard lonely life at times…my secret world built on pain and insecurities masked by perceptions…but there is hope for me yet…redemption.

Through the darkness I see a light, it started as a small pin prick shining a spot into my world it’s unlike anything I have ever seen before bright and pure, I can see straight through it nothing is hidden. Over time the light has grown brighter and brighter it has enveloped some of the darkness that surrounds me. I like this light it makes me feel whole, I feel safe when it shines on me, it knows my deepest secrets and shares my guarded thoughts. It protects me from the darkness that keeps threatening to smother  me….I love the light I tell it everything and now it walks alongside me with each step I take, we are joined together forever, hand in hand with my light it keeps the darkness at bay.

I am thankful everyday for the strength the light gives me, the support it provides me and for loving me for all that I am….this light so bright and pure is my Husband and together we will win this war.

Beautiful Benzo’s

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I love the shoes I am wearing, black and biege Valentino’s…arrgh they are so gorgeous…wait where is my Setraline can’t forget to take it hmmm Tropicana smooth wash that pill down and chase it with a Marlboro gold…it’s the small things in life….smoke rings rule.

My Louis bag clatters as I hit the stairs…pill style maraca’s ‘ole’ …need to fill my scripts…I’m in a good mood today.

Sleeping pills seem to be working, I believe I can flyyyyy damn when this script runs out imma crash and die.

Nothing lasts forever except for Benzo addiction, better stop taking this shit before I become a victim.

Love is….

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Love is…..

Love is what makes me go on,

Love is what keeps me strong,

Love is seeing his face,

Love is feeling is sweet embrace,

Love is my comfort,

Love is my home,

Love is assurance I will never walk alone,

Love is my saviour,

Love is my truth,

Love is accepting my flaws and all I have to give,

Love is how he makes me feel with each tender kiss,

Love is reserved for my husband and all that he is.

Sedative Seduction

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I am blasting Storm Queen as I glide the streets to my next therapist appointment.

Sun comes up,
I’m alone again,
With the lights on in my head,
Still hours away,
From my little room,
‘Cos I gotta go back soon,
Other people’s lives,
All along goodbyes,
Watching in the mirror,
With longing in my eyes.

For such a upbeat song the lyrics are pretty depressing and this song in its entirety sums up how I feel, but the struggle to muster up the funky back beat is becoming overwhelming as the depressing lyrics begin to take centre stage….its been two weeks Sertaline sucks.

My Therapists office is located in a large house style building, probably was some old manor house back when people just dealt with thier problems, without the aid of little numbered pills.

Man this place gives me the creeps, the car park is lit by one single street lamp which casts its orange gaze in a singular spot while the darkness hovers and dances around it. I try to park close to it but the door to her office is enveloped in blackness. Its then I realise I cannot be bothered to speak..this will be a long session.

The  door is open but inside is dark, the hallways are lit by dank lightbulbs which cast off a faint green tinged light. My legs feel heavy as I descend the staircase to the third floor, with each step I begin to consider the excuses I could make to go home and avoid this bullshit..there is none I have left it to late.

Dr T opens the door her face beaming, she is pleased to see me….the feeling is not mutual but I manage to muster a smile which probably looks like a grimace…

“You look terrible, worse than before” I have come directly from work so now my mind wonders shit do I look that bad? I begin to feel uncomfortable the anxiety is building. “How is your sleep?” I wanna say I can’t stop watching American Horror Story it is so addictive, have you seen it? its awesome!!! Instead I say a muted…”awful” its what she wants to hear.

“How is the Sertaline?” that is a good question and I ponder the answer carefully, I figured anti depressants would numb it all out so I can go about my life in igorant bliss not giving a care in the world…that hasn’t happened and I am bitterly disappointed. she sold me the dream and the dream is a dud…”I feel no different” is my reply.

“Well you are on a low dosage only 50mg perhaps a higher dosage would make you feel better” She has half of my attention the other half is thinking about who will be voted off The Apprentice tonight this season has been crap….”Isn’t it” thats my cue …I look directly at her and nod enthusiastically. ” you also need something to help you sleep, I know your Doctor said no to short term sleeping tablets but things have gotten worse isn’t it” my cue…I mutter a sorry sounding “yes”.

This room is cold and I am tired I begin to blink, saviouring the moment my eyes are closed. I feel surreally peaceful even though Dr T is still yabbering on, I have no idea what she is saying I have blocked her out completely why can’t I do this outside of here?

She hands me a green post it note with some eligable scribble on it, I focus on her “this is what I think will help you sleep as your Doctor will not prescribe you sleeping tablets, its a sedative it will calm you down” she is regaining my attention “This is a tablet that you can take with anti depressants, it relaxes your muscles and will sedate you” is that right I think…..”What is a sedative?” she has won me back I am all ears.

She begins to give a brief history of sedatives and how they work, I am completely engaged and she knows it, she becomes more animated as she weaves a new dream for me to buy into. Now I am thinking sedatives are the answer to all my woes alongside an increased dosage of Sertaline my problems will dissolve yay!!!

“So how will you get your Doctor to prescribe this for you” this woman would be lethal if she had a prescription pad….I begin to lose interest again, my Doctor is not going to prescribe this cocktail of drugs unless I become a crying emotional wreck blowing snot bubbles in his office and that ain’t my style, I prefer to suffer in silence. She is awaiting my answer but I do not have one I just stare blankly at her and eventually to fill the silence I sigh “I dunno”.

“Well you need to convince him that you need it and you are not coping isn’t it” I nod a slow determind nod “So pretend I am your Doctor and make me believe you need this to help you cope better” shit now she wants me to do a role play to practice begging for drugs…this is getting werid. My mind is racing and my anxiety is reaching breaking point I start to claw my legs my heart is pumping……”I will just tell him I am exhausted and it is affecting my job” she is nodding but she wants more “I will be assertive and make sure he listens to me I can’t cope” she smiles at me “Good makes sure you say that”.

I have stopped clawing and now the familiar sting is burning through my jeans its odd but I find it comforting, I slouch back in the chair as the stinging resonates through my body. “There is one side effect I need to mention this particular drug can cause an increased craving for carbohydrates” my eyes shoot open and I bolt upright did she just say the C WORD!!! she is taken back by my reaction, she is losing me and she knows it “don’t worry it only happens to some people and with the amount of exercise you will be doing it shouldn’t cause you to gain weight” exercise!!! I can’t even be bothered to apply some much needed mascara in the morning let alone complete 40 minutes of Insanity…. “I do not want to gain weight and I am not taking anything that will make me want to eat more carbs that is just not going to happen!!”.

I then start thinking why can’t there be a pill that sedates me and kills my appetite?? “Don’t worry there is another option pass me the post it back and I will write another one down for you” I hand her back the post it and she scribbles another name down “This one will sedate you and won’t affect your appetite” I feel a warm relief in the pit of my stomach gaining weight…now that would be depressing.

I can’t bothered with convincing my Doctor to prescribe me any other pills, I would really need to sell it and that would require a oscar worthy performance…”Can’t you write him a letter for me saying all this” she gazes at me empathetically “Of course I can, but it was odd when I spoke to him before and said I thought you were suicidal he didn’t seemed too bothered”.

Well if I was suicidal that was probably not the greatest thing to say hey no one cares luckily for her I’m not….In fact I am surprised she would think I was does she know something I do not know? or perhaps she knows nothing at all. However what is becoming clear is that she will make me whatever she wants me to be and the reality is she needs to feel like she is somehow saving me from myself…..do I need saving? no what I need is a sedative yes that’s what I need to calm me down.

I think you are depressed…

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Its Tuesday afternoon and I am sitting at my desk, I work for a well known blue chip company as a Sales Manager. I am brash, loud and in control I power dress to assert my ‘don’t fuck with me’ attitude.

Today is different from every other day in my years in employment, I am make- up free with my short hair scraped back in a hairband I am wearing a tragic River Island jumper covered in roses that I found scrunched up in a ball at the back of my closet pairing that with some Primark leggings and some butch brown flat boots…I look awful, but I really could not care less. I can see the puzzled looks and concern etched across some of my staffs faces and on the others an unsettling smugness that perhaps I am falling apart and maybe I am.

The clock moves slowly around and I have spent most of the day googling random celebs, not exactly a productive day. But I just cannot be bothered its been this way for two weeks now and I am running out of ideas of shit to google.No one challenges me or questions what I am doing for I am trusted, highly recommended and I deliver..well I use to its only a matter of time before the jig is up.

5.30pm and its time to make my way to my first appointment with a therapist who has been enlisted with the joy of helping me with my driving anxiety following a car accident I had over two years ago, this is part of the “claim” process.

I’m driving now listening to Drake as the rain pelts my windscreen and arseholes in estate Audi’s lane hop over the speed limit.

“I guess that’s just the motion
And their phone doesn’t ring when they got everything
That’s the motion”

I arrive and stare blankly at her as she spoon feeds me the answers to her questions, telling me how I feel followed by “isn’t it”…that is my cue to agree. She follows by I think you are depressed….in my head I laugh as I know whats coming next…you need to take some anti depressants this will help you…I think to myself yeah I am sure it will little pills we swallow to fill what was once hollow..wait thats my cue..”isn’t it” I nod wildly in agreement and that settles that anti depressants it is…well its a billion pound industry for a reason I think ..fuck it lets blank it all out.