Has anyone done #take5toblog? time-to-change.org.uk/timet... It came up on my Facebook feed from Mind, and I found it inspiring.

I did it yesterday. Initially I wasn't going to share it, but then I thought that I should - because I'm tired of hiding myself. I have finally broken the ice; and revealed to not just a close few, but everyone, that I self-harm. I now have no fear of what people may think (which is always a struggle for me. I'm found of 'mind reading'). I am concerned about what my mum and dad will think. But, y'know, I've come clean about it - it reveals the depths of how much I've struggled. So now we can talk about things on a better footing.

I would encourage you to take part. Even if you don't share... for me, it helped me realise how much I have struggled in the past, and where I've come from.

Here's mine:

1. My name is Ewan and I have experienced depression since I was a teen, as well as self-harm mainly through cutting myself.

2. My mental illness has affected my ability to love my wife fully, to listen other's wisdom, it has affected my ability to make friendships, makes me withdraw which I mask in various ways (for example, at dinner parties, hiding by helping in the kitchen), has made me miss meetings, days of uni, made me lose a university placement as I had a breakdown during it...

3. my greatest source of support has been my wife and a couple of close friends. Up until you read this, my wife was the only one who knew about my self-harming.

4. my hope for the future is that I will be able to handle emotions with the right response; that I won't even think about using a knife, that I will be able to do all of the jobs for the day without getting exhausted, that when I am mentally weak I wouldn't stay in bed but get up anyway; that I would never have to hide from myself or others.

5. I'm doing this post because... well, the recent 7 things you haven't known about me yet Thing has been fascinating and amusing, even titillating at points. But even if I was nominated for it, I wouldn't do it, because I want you to know the real me. The one who struggles, day in day out, with doing the things that others just get on with - the me, who is a mess.


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11 Replies

  • Hello Ewan, I know how much courage it must have taken to post as openly and honestly as you have. Thank you for sharing this x

  • Hi Ewan I agree with Lucy thank you for your honesty. But don't forget there is also the YOU who has a loving wife, good family and close friends. You are also taking steps to try and stop your self harming and to tackle your depression. This is the positive isn't it? x

  • Hi Ewan how are you are today? This must have taken a lot of courage Ewan, well done. :) I can see you're progressing in the right direction. I'm glad my advice on your other post helped. xx

  • Really open of you Ewan and I applaud you for doing this. I am feeling completely desperate right now barely able to write anything. Am just going to try the mental health team. The pain is unbearable. I sort of know what I want to do but can't do it; I want to be seen.

    Hanging on.


  • Hello Gemma

    Is there anything I can help you with ??.

    Are you suffering in physical pain, ?? or Mental anguish ??

    You have been through the mill for several months

    All the best

    BOB xxxx

  • Hi Gemma I'm sorry your feeling bad, is there anything I can help with?

    Please look after yourself and get help.

    Hannah. Xx

  • It is both. Just having a very bad day; it's one of those I can't quite put into words enough. I am just getting through minute by minute but appreciate you writing. I look on here from time to time imbetween keeping myself "frozen". If I don't stay frozen, lying under the quilt then I feel that things could escalate even more. I am determined to hang on and ride it out once more though I'm desperately tired of getting like this and the pain both mental and physical is excruciating. I'm also pretty paranoid, thinking that I am really different from people who are coping, that people are laughing at me or thinking I am attention seeking or not believing me; that I'm glaringly dysfunctional to the point that people are probably commenting on it behind my back , that I'm a joke and just "past it" that the whole world can see it and it scares them away and makes them think or comment about me to others.

    I am also very sad that I never had a life and I don't have anyone close I can talk to or call on or anyone who would understand properly or help with this mood which them makes me feel worse about feeling it. I also add the "borderline" label to beat myself up with which then convinces me that i can't take anything I feel seriously as it's all "wrong" and exaggerated but I do think this is paranoia really. I seriously want to challenge the borderline label again but what if I am? It feels like I am forever doomed.

    The thing that is "saving" me is having taken 10mg of diazepam; however I seem to be "saving" myself regularly and I don't want to feel so desperate so often; it is horrendous.The thing is I don't bother people. I don't bother people enough sometimes. I did phone someone but was very polite and concerned about their situation and didn't want to overstep the mark or intrude even when I am desperate so I should be very proud of that that I always behave appropriately no matter what.

    I'm sorry I can't really express more. I am hoping to sleep. Constant lack of sleep is a major factor in all of this but I guess this is fuelled by the anxiety. Also being woken up in the middle of a sleep by a motorbike starting outside , when I am in the "dream" state this can set my mood very badly for the whole day . I constantly ruminate and I think the sleeping tablets too mess up my system, helping in one way but increasing rebound anxiety. I am hoping I can get myself under control enough to go on a walk tomorrow as me having this sort of times when I'm not controlling things is dangerous for me. I cannot believe that my poor little body and poor little mind is managing to tolerate all this. It is a living hell. I am going to start a square one though when i've got some more equilibrium. I'm going to keep trying to get the help I need. So sad as I'm a nice person. I feel like I never had a life, nothing is joined up for me, so isolated and it's terrifying me.

    I need somehow to be able to be vulnerable but get the recognition of this part of me but its so hard as people in general can't reach down to that level as i think it just scares them and they want more commonplace type of conversations.

    Thank you for being there. This forum has kept me alive so many times and also I want to move beyond ever having to think in that way.

    Sorry for "hijacking" your post Ewan I don't normally do that. Maybe in some way I also want you and others to know or just can't write a post for myself as that feels too much.

  • Gemma,

    My precious, I'm so sorry you are feeling so bad. I so wish I could take away the pain. People care about you on the forum Gemma,

    Sarah xx

  • Thank you Sarah. I'm not even happy about what I wrote and was thinking of deleting it as it doesn't really express things properly. I sometimes take something that I know COULD be a positive, the idea that I need to be me and I need to somehow be a fully flown me rather than just the "servant" bit that I can do but then it becomes a negative because I don't know how to achieve that.

    There's been a lot of stress over this teacher. I feel a bit silly now as he was a lot better today and even last week he was better. Partly I seem to have turned it around and starting blaming myself for so called "overreacting". I don't think I actually AM overeacting as such. I know I felt terrible going in today but I did go; I was barely coping as even yesterday i have got an idea that I have upset someone in the other voluntary work I do in the cafe(which is deaf people as well) . It comes from several weeks ago; I had been feeling really ill and I went in and I had given them something of mums to use. When I got in they had set it up but done it completely wrong; I felt a bit shocked that something of hers was being misused in this way which sort of made me more shaky. Then this person was trying to explain to me how he thought it should be used. I kept rushing about as other people kept getting my attention. He got really mad with me as he was trying to explain and I think he felt I was being disrepectful to him.

    I did apologise profusely at the time and have gone out of my way to be friendly since but he still seems very standoffish with me and I feel he still really dislikes me and thinks maybe I am very clumsy or I am extremely annoying and irritating and that I shouldn't be there. So there's two things in that I feel like I'm not wanted and I'm in the way on the Fridays (well by him particularly but I think maybe the others just tolerate me) and then today it's like I'm the only one with the problem with him so it must be me. Previously this man on the Fridays was one person I felt safe and steady and liked by so this was a major blow to me.

    There is a girl in the class who reminds me of what I was like when I was learning at that stage. She told the teacher today she wasn't happy and she was struggling. I can see she just finds it so difficult. He was very unsympathetic and took it as a criticism which is what has happened to me in the past. I am the opposite of this and try and help the students who are struggling but then I feel a tension like I am going behind his back and undermining him by doing this but I am only doing it to help them as I don't think people should be discouraged just because they have difficulties. I ended up so dizzy and ill and I felt dreadful in the first place. I am physically very unwell too; I feel completely bizarre. I left early managing to keep a fairly "normal" impression though just saying I'm not well which genuinely I am not. I have been feeling sick for days and my breathing is laboured possibly got a respiratory infection. I think I probably will leave when I can if I can find someone to replace me; but somehow I am beating myself up for this and telling myself it was all in my head and how can I trust anything I feel because it's me that so way off beam. Also I'm sort of annoyed because I do feel I have a case for feeling how I do but he will have triumphed if you like by me leaving so it looks like I'm in the wrong. He's quite cocky and confident now and I'm defeated, making myself feel bad.

    I also feel so way out compared with others. They talk about their family's. Many of them are at the exciting beginning of their lives and their careers. I never had a life or a career. I see them blossoming and with parents, boyfriends , husbands, jobs, children and I feel sad for myself but also compare myself and make myself feel bad about that. I don't have any of these things especially any future wherein I could ever become a mother as that is far too late. Just one significant other would mean so much; some sort of respite from this agony of isolation. I feel I need to build small things ask for things in small ways, make demands, try and establish that I do matter but paranoia just been creeping in too much today. I am thinking of changing tack completely and trying different types of activities and seeing if these things repeat themselves. I am completely eager to find out what is me and what is them. If i am overreacting I am more than willing to look at it. I think my main problem is a very easily attacked sense of my own self; I just don't know. I don't understand on what levels to relate to people. I can't understand why everyone doesn't have issues with small r "relationships" eg at work as it all feels like a minefield to me. Also I am continuingly operating from a depleted and "ill" me which sets everything off at a disadvantage, the lack of sleep being chronic and cumulative and the physical problems and giddiness and so on being very bizarre to deal with.

    Anyway Sarah you probably didn't want that rant. Having people who really care means a lot. I felt that sentiment coming right through to me and I know you mean it. Thank you. XX

  • Gemma I can't read all that my dyslexia makes it difficult sorry, but I did see you were upset and I hope you feel a little better now. You've given so many people great advice and great support, so please be kind to yourself and know you are very much valued and cared for.

    Be kind to yourself you deserve to be happy or at least at peace with your life right now.

    BIG KISS and a HUG


  • Also Ewan hope things improve for you, its good to share here people give great advice, just hang in there, you are obviously a much loved and cared for person :-)