Twisted Relations… Chapter 1

Her eyes fluttered open, heavy as lead, from a fit-full nights sleep. Even in her dreams she couldn’t catch a rest. The foreboding sense of fatigue & exhaustion which she carried with her every day waved it’s welcome.

A quiet sigh escaped her lips as she rolled over and felt the familiar tap on her shoulder. ‘Good morning’ he whispered, ‘but it’s not good is it… it’s never good’. She dragged her fingers through her hair, wishing him away, wishing he would go.

But he never leaves, because he’s not a physical presence that she can move, he’s in her head. He’s the fatigue, the thoughts that never stop swirling around in her mind, poisoning anything positive or good. His one job, is to keep her down. To remind her she’s ugly, disgusting, not wanted, a waste of space.

‘Job well done’ she muttered to him and she swore she could hear his cackle. ‘You’ve won, God damn it, isn’t this enough’. But it’s never enough, he won’t be done until he drives her to the darkness of silence, until he makes he crack once and for all.

“Callie hun, it’s time to get up, you’re going to be late for work” knocked her flatmate Hannah. “I know, I…” and then it seized her chest, her throat, before she could mutter another word she felt the breath leave her like she’d had a hard blow to the stomach. “I’m still sick” Callie barely whispered in return… She heard the resigned breath of Hannah and could almost see the defeated shake of her head as she walked away.

She just needed one more day, just one more day to sleep and then she swore she’d be fine. Surely, another day in bed will knock this overwhelming sense of exhaustion. ‘I must be sick’ Callie thought to herself, it was silly to think that her own mind could make her so tired, so nauseous. ‘I’ll get to the doctors’ she thought, ‘and they’ll tell me what’s wrong… I’m probably depleted in some vitamin but once they give me medicine I’ll be fine. I just need to get out of bed. But first, just a few more hours sleep’. Her sick days at work were already depleted, everything was so far gone that one more day wouldn’t make a difference. It’s not like they understand anyway.

‘No-one needs you, no-one would even notice that you’re gone’ he muttered in her ear. She felt like screaming but no sound would escape. Besides, it wouldn’t get rid of his incessant dialogue. He’d only scream louder.

Callie reached out and grabbed her figurative safety net. The sound of those wonderful little pills knocking around in the plastic bottle, chanting away ‘take me, take me. I’ll make you feel better’. She even felt the corner of her lips turn upwards, was that almost a smile, as she slipped two of those blessed pills between her dry her lips and swallowed them down. ‘Just a few more hours sleep and I’ll be fine’ sung through her head as she lay back and let the pills send her to oblivion…

“You know, you may think she hates me but Callie and I really have a beautiful relationship. We’ve been going strong for nearly 10 years now but the best part is we only grow closer. With every family issue, friendship breakdown, employment problems, financial disasters… it just brings us tighter together. Now, you can’t say that about many relationships, can you?”

“But we have fun, because as much as I torment and tease her, constantly feeding a string of toxic thoughts through her head, she still keeps me around. I’m her comfort you see… she needs me. What on earth do you think she’d do if she was normal. Do you think she’s in any state to go about her daily life without a little bit of grounding. I’m here to keep her level, to make sure that she never get’s too high. A little reminder here and there that she’s a worthless piece of shit… we don’t want that ego getting to big. Then she might think she can do things without me. And I’m telling you now, I’m not going anywhere.”

An obnoxious buzzing stirred Callie from her slumber and a fog thicker then she’d left greeted her. Why was she awake already, she’d only had what felt like a few hours sleep. She was still so damn tired. As her cloud of fog lifted, she noted the lit up screen of her phone and realised the buzzing was her phone vibrating. ‘Why can’t people just leave me alone’… Then her eyes widened, as she registered the date of her phone, ‘Fuck. It can’t be’… It was two days later. Callie flung herself upright in bed and seized her phone with urgency… Missed call after missed call from work, one from her mother and a number of unread texts. ‘Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck’ she hissed.

The Secret to Self Destructing…

No-one wants to be sad.

Sad, depressed, anxious, fearful, lonely… etc.

As much as you seem to think, we really, truly, don’t enjoy it and don’t want to feel this way.

But. Understand this.

When you feel frustrated as your family/friend/partner falls into yet another self destructive cycle, there is a world of emotions, thought processes, actions that lead them back to their demise.

There is a sense of comfort and security in these negative emotions that grace us everyday *pause for scoffs of disbelief*.

Let me put it into perspective.

Envision a darkened bedroom, in which you’re lying in bed. Yes, there is better things to do but your comfortable, everything is familiar, there is an easiness to just lying there. But then, figurative mum walks in, she pulls open the curtains and in streams the sunshine, so bright and blinding, offensive to the eyes. You quickly close the curtain and let the relief of the darkened room and the removal of the offensive sunlight flood you.

So, the darkened room in this equation is your mind and the associated negative emotions we are dealing with. Everyone outside of it, who’s already up and now enjoying the sunlight is thinking, “Why on earth would they want to be all holed up in there, all dark and gloomy… Why don’t they just get up?!”.

However, you, who are residing in the darkened room, find comfort in the darkness and as your eyes have adjusted to this said darkness, the new addition of sunlight (positive emotion – happiness, joy, love etc.) is offensive, it’s overwhelming and quite often you end up flustered, unable to deal with it and so you therefore (sometimes intentionally and other times unintentionally) close the figurative curtain and block out the sunlight… a.k.a. you have a positive change or emotion in your life, and rather then getting up and embracing/building on it, you freak out and shut down (self destruct), because being sad is now your normal.

As strange as it might sound, happiness is a foreign emotion to some. It can be frightening because you only get the sense that it’s lifting you higher so that your inevitable drop back down to reality will be harsher. So you protect yourself and never let yourself get too high.

Often it won’t be something dramatic like most would associate with ‘self-destruction’… in fact our strongest tool of self destruction is our mind and our thoughts. Something positive might happen, for example the blossoming of a new relationship, and in will flow the thoughts ‘You’re not wanted, it will never amount to anything, it’s just physical, you’re too complicated, you’ve got too much baggage’. And slowly, those walls will rise and you’ll slink away into the safety of your darkness where they can’t hurt you more.

So, I know it’s hard to understand, and every person is so very different. But have a little patience with us, because self destructing is a protection mechanism for a very broken person. Sometimes it’s easier to stay at our lowest point (as much as our logical side doesn’t want to be there) because there is so much less risk associated with being sad. It’s not that we don’t want to get better, it’s that we’re afraid that the we’ll never be able to resurface from another blow…

 

A letter to You…

I’ve lived with you for years… the last 11 to be exact. Only I was 10 when you first visited and I didn’t know who you were.

I came to become very well acquainted with you when I was 12, but your name was still a mystery to me.

I learnt your name when I was 14, but you’d already made yourself at home in the last 4 years, you were already ingrained in my daily routine. You were there when I woke up, when I went to sleep and haunted me in the night.

Hello, my friend or more appropriately, my enemy. I introduce to you all, Depression.

We’ve a very private relationship, you’ve always been good at making sure that I hid you. Descriptions of me always included words like loud, outgoing, smiley, and friendly. I was the master of disguise and you were my mask.

You are a disease that has ravaged my body. You are a heavy cloak that rests on my shoulders with a hood that hangs over my eyes.

You’ve a number of effects on my physical health, including but not limited to a constant sense of overwhelming fatigue, a lack of appetite, you rid me of my motivation and leave me bedridden for days.

It’s not necessarily everyday, sometimes there is a months when you seem to go easy on me. I will never understand how, or why, you work the way you work. The doctors will tell me that my brain doesn’t create enough of a chemical that makes me happy. They give me medicine to balance this, but the medicine is no escape. It leaves me numb, devoid of emotion, it gives me constant headaches and an even more constant nausea.

You took away my friends because some days it was easier to isolate myself then to put on a smile that I didn’t mean. You stripped my motivation so bare that it was too hard to even mumble, text, type or write a reply. But it didn’t matter to me because even when I was surrounded by friends I was always haunted with a painful sense of loneliness.. so I really felt no different when people slowly disappeared from my life.

There’s just no winning with you is there.

I’d learnt to live with you and we were getting along ok. We had our good days and bad days but I knew you well, I felt like we had a mutual understanding and whilst you always had one hand resting on my shoulder, always reminding me you were there. I was OK. I was normal.

But then, you invited your good friend to join you.

Hello Anxiety, welcome to the party. A newcomer who came into the scene only in the last 2-3 years.

You take my breath away… literally. It’s like you always have your hand wrapped around my chest and then when you feel like it’s an appropriate occasion, or sometimes no occasion at all, you squeeze my chest so tight I can’t breath.

You scramble my thoughts and blur my eyesight. You make it too overwhelming to leave the house.

You’ve left me a trembling, crying mess. Having to be swept away and numbed by medication, sleeping away and losing days, sometimes weeks at times.

I don’t know how to handle you Anxiety, you frighten me.

But you see, Depression and Anxiety… there is one thing I must remind you. I am a mother and you’ve taken away one to many days from me and from him.

He deserves me, the best of me. So I’ll continue to fight you because you are nothing compared to him.

You’ve made me feel like I wasn’t a good enough mother because I was over-powered by you, you put thoughts in my head, you made me think that he would be better off without me.

But the world is no better when it loses a soul. No matter how many thoughts you put into the heads of those that you plague. You are wrong. Because every child, every family, every friend needs us in their lives. No matter how insignificant you make us feel. Every life has significance.

So I’ll continue to battle with you every day but I’ve learnt my worth. I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunty, a friend. I might have depression but I refuse to have my life ruled by depression, I am so much more and so is every other person suffering with this.

So please, keep going. If not for yourself then for the people that you may think don’t need you, but do… and if you don’t have that, then keep going for a hope of a brighter future. No matter how worthless you may feel, you matter.

AG xo

 

Autumn Hues: Step by Step

The summer that was never really here is swiftly slipping from our grips, as the stores are filling with clothes of maroon and burnt orange… a sure fire sign that Autumn is on it’s way.

To bid farewell to a lack luster New Zealand summer, I wanted to create a look with those beautiful autumn colours.

It’s somewhat a step by step, with pictures documenting each (ok, not every single step because otherwise it would have felt a bit excessive) step of the makeup application.

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