About Serial Insomniac
I’m a woman in my mid-twenties from Northern Ireland. Over a decade ago, I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression, though I have recently been given something of an upgrade. Given the title of this blog, it will perhaps not surprise you to learn that I have suffered from insomnia, presumably related to my mental health difficulties, essentially for most of this time. More recently, I also developed social anxiety, and even more recently again (2009), I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder with a secondary diagnosis of bipolar disorder, type II. Later in 2009, when my psychotic symptoms became worse, my BPD was deemed to have psychotic features.
This blog is mainly about my mental ill health. Why? Mainly for my own benefit, really. I have a constant need to self-analyse, and though I am quite demonstrably not presently in control of my life, I always feel that I should be. My hope is that in committing some of my experiences, deepest thoughts etc to (electronic) paper, I will obtain some catharsis and deeper understanding of my multitude of issues. I am also wont to forget material, especially in psychotherapy sessions, which is why you will find I go into hilariously pedantic detail before I forget.
Secondly, I am so sick of the stigma that permeates society in relation to mental ill health. There is a perception, I think, that people suffering from the various illnesses that come under that umbrella term are attention-seeking, dangerous, evil, twisted, whatever. I hope the blog provides some insight and education into my conditions and into therapy; nobody chooses to be mental. Why would you want to spend every single day filled with despair and fear, agitation and self-disgust? And yet – it becomes part of us, so much so that we scarcely know what we’d do without it.
I do feel the need add a disclaimer here though – aside from the fact that I am currently filled with self-loathing and disgust, I hate political correctness and airy-fairy nonsense. Thus I am quite likely to criticise my being insane, or employ hyperbole in regards to it. This is probably actually demonstrative of my mental illness, negative thinking and lack of control over my life, and thus should not be taken as a suggestion that I rationally think being mentally ill is something to be criticised. It is not.
Disclaimer two: I curse (and curse strongly) all the time. If that offends you, I would suggest that you don’t read the blog – or if you really want to, please don’t rant at me about it!
Perhaps it is worth adding some other facts about myself, for contextual reference if nothing else:
- I am a double graduate, though I won’t say in what as it’s a fairly minority subject that could possibly identify me. Both my degree and my postgraduate course were a waste of time and money.
- I lost my job in 2009, owing to my most recent breakdown. I had been absent for over a year, so the dismissal was fair. I essentially co-ordinated the communication and daily running of an entire department, but my job title and certainly my salary did not in any way reflect that. My employers and colleagues were not bad to work for and with, but I am presently so socially inept and unable to focus on anything significant that I simply cannot be there. Furthermore, some of the personnel management of my absence showed them up not to be as perfect as they may like to suggest. I am presently surviving financially on Employment and Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance from the government. Believe me, I am not proud of this in any way.
- I am not your typical woman. In fact, although I am in principle a feminist (though not a misandrist – there really is a difference folks), I actually generally don’t get on especially well with women. All my close friends, and most of my better acquaintances, are male. I absolutely abhor tactility and demonstrations of emotion that other females seem so fond of. I am aware of the hideous generalisation of that statement, but it is a stereotype based to some degree on observation.
- Anyhow, I’m into sci-fi, football (Newcastle sodding United for my sins), violent video games and rock and metal music. Queen is my favourite band, but I also love Metallica, Nightwish, Meat Loaf, G n R, Bon Jovi etc etc etc. I don’t much like children and I don’t give a flying fuck about shopping or any of that cal. I do love reading and writing, but it is hard to get motivated to involve one’s self in these pursuits whilst in the midst of a borderline strop or bipolar mixed state, given the concentration and focus required (so forgive me if updates to this blog are intermittent). However, my favourite books would be A Clockwork Orange, The Day of the Triffids and the entire series of Adrian Mole diaries.
- Personal characteristics – extreme cynicism and pessimism; intelligence; sometimes arrogance though this is almost certainly an elaborate defence mechanism to cover my actual self-hate; misanthropy; my partner tells me I can be witty though I’ll leave any readership of this blog to decide on that one for themselves; narcissism; at times manic, at times delusional, scared, anxious and depressed, naturally. Most disturbingly perhaps I spend a considerable amount of time in a fantasy world. My internal ‘world’ is like a stream-of-consciousness unwritten novel in my head. I am fully aware at present that this extreme day dreaming is nothing other than fiction, but am concerned that ultimately it could become my reality. My psychotherapist opines that this is just a more intense version of what many people experience on a daily basis, and he knows what he is talking about – nevertheless, it does seem pretty weird to me.
Briefly, there are seven main things that I can think of off the top of my head that contribute(d) to my becoming completely mad:
- Father’s desertion of me when I was a child, and his remarkable ability to sustain that until his death 20 years later.
- The fact that said father spent the 20 years prior to my birth raping and beating the fuck out of my mother (and the alcoholism that fuelled it).
- A rape and some more sustained but less serious sexual abuse by a family member when I was a child.
- A very elaborate and twisted lie fed to me in my first real romantic relationship.
- Being bullied at school and the desolation I experienced in that environment.
- Unresolved issues of grief relating to the death of my beloved grandfather (presumably the main father figure in my life until he died).
- Complete unfulfillment and disillusionment in terms of my career.
The above is a very cursory analysis; I am sure if I sat down and thought about it I could think of more stuff, and I’m no psychologist so am not even sure how much or how little the above facts impact on my life. But they seem, as of this moment, to be the key issues. I explore it all and more with my psychotherapist, though it is unclear as to how much time I have left with him.
The foregoing is a background on me alone. If you want further context, you can check out my post on everyone else in my life.
I will end this mammoth narcissism now. Thank you for reading. Feel free to leave comments on any post I make. I am intrigued to hear the views of others.