Aug 10, 2014


I thought long and hard about this, and in the end, I decided that I have as much right to my feelings when they aren't so great as I do to them when they are more socially palatable. I'm going to start with something positive, and share my new artwork, which I had until now tucked away as a surprise for a friend. It's an elderly family pet, and so showing it before now would've given the game away. This represents twelve hours work and the medium is pastel pencil on roughly 100gsm white paper. I haven't drawn at this level in quite a long while, mostly because to do so before medication involved many hours of focus and concentration, and before now it would have taken me months and been so emotionally overwhelming that I wouldn't have been okay for a few weeks afterwards. The miracle of modern science, I guess. I can now knock one of these over in a couple of weeks, if I happen to be having a good few weeks. It's hope that if everything else falls down, I'll have a way to support myself, because I shared it with a few people far removed from the recipient so that I didn't blurt anything out, and the result was about 4 or 5 requests for a commission. One thing at a time. For now, I need to slow down my art projects and focus on this thesis. Two more months of significant struggles and it will finally be over and I'll have my honours degree. Then I can figure out the rest of my life, and do a little more art. Anyway, I hope that you enjoy the piece. It was a lot of work, but it also shows me that I'm not just a pointless being on this earth, and that I can actually give something (however small) back.

Which brings me to last night. I had at least seven people that were once good friends go absolutely out of their way to make me feel hated, unwelcome, invisible, isolated, unwanted... and I'd just like to let them know that congratulations, if you really were trying to make me feel like that, you completely succeeded. I smiled and was polite for most of the night, but it made a big mark on me and I am absolutely 100% sitting at home alone in tears right now. I'd like to think something positive came out of it for someone, because it certainly didn't help me. I have been clear of major depression for just under a week. My diagnosis of ADHD has pretty much shattered not only my lifestyle, but everything I thought I knew about myself up until this point. I know I have not been easy to get along with in the past. I also now know that I had absolutely no hope of control over that until now. The part of my brain that regulates emotional reaction to external stimuli and on top of that the part that is meant to be in charge of executive function is broken. This means that where most people would think things but not necessarily say them, I will blurt them out uncontrollably. This also means that I experience heightened reactions to emotional stimuli, particularly negative stimuli and especially anything aggression-related. This in combination without treatment has meant that any slightly unsavoury experience with someone has been experienced personally by me at a level comparable to someone else perhaps at 20 times the severity of the actual situation at hand. Worse, it has also meant that before I can even process it on a long-term social level, I have already reacted in a way appropriate to the extremely negative experience I am having, but not always to the situation. It has also made me incredibly gullible. I have had the best intentions throughout this, despite feeling constantly persecuted. This has often translated into friends coming to me with their problems surrounding falling-outs with others, and me ending up furious and trying to defend said friend, which in reality has just meant doing other peoples' dirty work at great personal expense, with no realisation at all that this is what was actually going on. And it's hurt people I do care about, which fucking kills me. I battle with myself every day because I really hate myself over it all, and yet I had no hope of controlling it. Until now.

Last night I went out of my way not to step on toes, I didn't drink, I let people have a chance at actually getting to know me, as I really am, for the first time in what many of them would have ever had. I got completely and deliberately socially excluded. I understand, but I wish other people understood more too. I'm going to spend the next few weeks fighting with myself to try and keep it together and not end up clinically depressed again. On top of the ADHD, I'm also diagnosed with social anxiety, auditory processing disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (thankfully this has almost gone away) and delayed sleep phase disorder. The DSPD isn't so bad at night parties, but the medication I take to regulate it means that after about midnight I am yawning uncontrollably, even I skip it for a night. Social anxiety I guess is fairly self-explanatory. I hope. Auditory processing disorder means that in loud or crowded environments, I'm effectively deaf if somebody is talking more than about half a metre from me. PTSD isn't so bad socially, but if someone makes a nasty joke around assault or other things I really don't want to mention, I'm immediately experiencing some really horrible memories, whether I want to or not. I'm not writing this because I want sympathy. Sympathy does pretty much nothing for me to be honest. The best thing I can get from people is to actually feel accepted and as if I can live some semblance of a normal life once in a while. I want people to understand that last night represented three solid weeks of fear and anxiety, and I still made the effort. I want people to understand that even though I was acutely aware of the animosity toward me, I was capable of not going on the offensive. I gave myself a chance in that social environment, and it was a huge effort to do so. Not many other people gave me that chance. Many went out of their way to make me feel unwelcome. To those that didn't, thank you. You give me hope at the darkest times.

It fucking hurts to have a serious illness, be finally treated and able to manage it enough to function socially, and only get that treatment to function after it's already too late. I am not anything like the person I have been anymore, and it doesn't matter. This is the brain equivalent of someone handing me a walking frame after both of my legs have been amputated. The main difference is that I have an invisible illness, so even though my chances of it killing me are somewhere vaguely around 1 in 5, it becomes my fault. I'm sorry if I've ever made you feel like shit. I'm so sorry. There's nothing I can do about the past and it upsets me more than anything. You're not the only person weighing up whether or not my existence is worth me being here. It's exhausting to fight on days like this one, but I have to keep fighting anyway. Writing helps, so hopefully I'll be able to stop crying and snap out of it and eat something after this. I know I'm going on and on. I'll stop for now.

Feeling - hopeless, exhausted
Listening - A Little Piece, The Jezabels

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