collection of short stories
By Chris J N

My medication has taken away part of me

With a diagnosis of bipolar, anxiety, psychosis and paranoia and the help of a psychiatrist and mental health nurse and the community mental health team and a multitude of medications, I thought I was on the path to feeling better, but that’s not so.  My medication has taken away part of me, the euphoric highs I used to get when I felt I could fly, where I could do anything, where there were no limits…..they have all gone and I miss them.

But in return the medication has made my lows even lower, I sit in my living room and watch people walk by my window and that’s all the contact I have with people, I don’t want to see anyone or join in with other people but in my heart of hearts that’s what I really want but I just can’t make that move.  I go out when less people are around, shopping at midnight or even shopping on line.  My illness has cost me everything my marriage, children, family, friends and career and left me empty and alone.

Medications, why take them?  They are doing nothing for me, actually making me worse.  I often think if living is worth it, I question myself about it several times a day.  Why continue this daily struggle with life, why continue living a life that is empty?

When I have the chance to talk to anyone I don’t, it’s easier just to say I’m fine.  Sleeping, oh yes I prefer that, my demons are not there, they are hidden by sleeping pills.  When I awake there they are again and the whole daily cycle begins over again.

Lost, lonely and afraid.

By Andy

No matter how hard

No matter how hard I push myself, no matter how many times I fall in, nothing will be as hard as the last 4 or 5 years.  I started kayaking after the breakdown of my marriage due to my depression.  The self loathing, the fear and the voice in my head telling me how worthless I was will be the hardest thing I have ever faced.

So when I fall out yet again, or push myself to exhaustion in a race, it’s easy because I’ve been to such a terrible place in my head, where suicide seems to be the only way out.  Kayaking has brought me so much, new friends and skills, but the depression’s always there, telling me how crap I am, ready to catch me unawares.  For now I can cope, for now I’m fine, perhaps I’m one of the lucky ones.

By Bea

Rejection

I’ve had high anxiety for years.  The first time i felt it was a few months before I went to live to Brighton in 2002.  I was, for 2 months, eating just a little, and nobody cared about it.  I had to fix it myself like always, I still do it today.  The anxiety makes me feel so bad, like sick, headache, so tired.  Just going out for a while is like I have run a marathon.

When I was little my father hit me if i failed at school.  He did it if I did anything wrong.  Today I still feel the same if i do anything wrong.  At school I was bullied, people every day would say I was a fool before saying my name.  Later I studied in Tourism School and classmates made fun of me.  In Brighton it was the same again, nobody wanted sit close to me in college.  I had a few “friends” who laughed about me if I didn’t know something.

Chris above all is someone so special, feeling a special connection.  He has Hanna with special needs, I have my brother with Fragile X Syndrome.  I’m afraid to be myself, to be lovely.  If someone tells me anything, bad or nice, I’m afraid to react in a wrong way in case they won’t like it, to hug, to kiss, to say a nice word.  Darren plays the piano, I did it, I miss it, I loved it…

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