Monday, 12 October 2009

"Toxic brain dump"

Leslie (of Something Brilliant is Brewing), "toxic brain dump"? I'll give you toxic brain dump! It doesn't get more toxic than the stuff here, so if you're feeling bad already, then please DON'T READ IT. I wrote it yesterday as just an outpouring and didn't dare post it because it's just C*R*A*P in the sense of crap going round in my brain. But it's also my life story of the the last decade. It's an example of the thinking and thought processes of a depressed person - hence all the repetition. But this doesn't mean there's tons of distortion there. It is actually the truth. This is me.

The X referred to lower down was a man I met and fell in love with before my breakdown in 2000. The failure of that relationship was a major factor in the breakdown.

I've thought recently that I had reached a place of acceptance of my illness but I see from reading this that that is not really the case. I am just in a terminal quiet despair over it.

I apologise in advance for what you are about to read. SORRY.


What is bingeing about? For me it's a stepping out of reality. When I binge the calorie content doesn't matter. I can consume vast amounts and there are no consequences for that. Of course there are consequences - but at the time of buying and consumption in my head there are no consequences.

Why do I need to step out of reality? Because reality is too shit. My reality is horrible. My life is a big nothing. A big stressful nothing. I am nothing. Nothing except a failure. A permanent mental health patient who can't hold it together for any length of time. Stuck in inadequate accommodation. No way of ever earning any money ever again. No marriage or kids. No job. No home of my own. My circumstances are grim indeed and it will only get worse as I get older. Because I am under 40 I still have a sliver of hope that any of these things may yet happen. But get past 40 and none of those things will ever happen. That's why I don't think I will live far beyond 40. Because I'll have no hope then. So time is running out for me on this earth.

And yet I spend my days wasting them away with bingeing and not leaving the house. If you had only a short amount of time left on this earth - less than 5 years I am certain - if you were given less than 5 years to live what would you do with the time? Chuck the diet in that's for sure! What else? Travel the world? Spend the time achieving something you always wanted to do before it's too late? I'm sure you'd have a list. I don't have anything I want to do or achieve before I die. That's how unconnected with life I've become. I am like an amoeba. Brainless and intellectually and emotionally numb. A big blob of nothing.

And bingeing is just reflecting or covering up the pain.

The only things I do in life are binge for a while and then diet for a while. I feel like that is all I've done for the last few years. Trapped in this endless cycle.

Of course, when I'm dieting and improving my health and fitness I feel like I'm on an "up", however painful and miserable it is - and the process does cause me to cry a lot. But at least I'm doing something to improve my situation. At least I have a goal, an aim in life. A reason to exist - even if it is only to lose weight. My life is planned around that - food that I'm eating, when I eat, cooking the food. The exercise - walking takes up a lot of time. It feels virtuous. It feels like I'm doing some good. And of course it's undeniable that it's better to be out walking than sat at home. It's better to eat veg and feel healthy than to be stuffing endless amounts of rubbish down myself and feel terrible.

But basically, overall, what am I achieving with my life? If I cut out the bingeing and subsequent necessary dieting, what then? What would be left then?

I have no other achievable goals. I'd like to get a job, but my levels of anxiety and depression make that impossible. I'd like to have got married and had kids but I've never met anyone and have few opportunities to do that now. And who would have me now? I'm a dead loss. I can't earn any money. And in this country at least, no man wants a woman who can't earn money. I tried internet dating but the only men I met were complete non-starters. If they weren't complete non-starters they'd be able to get a girlfriend. And if I weren't complete non-starter I'd be able to get a boyfriend.

I'd like to live somewhere nice but I can't afford it so I'm trapped here.

I can't see anything else I could achieve or do with my life apart from this horrid cycle.

Everyone needs to feel they can achieve something, that there is a reason for them to exist. Many people suffering severe totally incapacitating mental illness which they know is never going to end - like schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder - see the battle for psychological survival in itself as the meaning of their existence. And I did myself for the first year after my first breakdown. Because just to survive that year for me, when I was in such mental chaos and there was no help for me in terms of tablets or a diagnosis that pointed to a specific treatment (my diagnosis has only ever been "depressed after a breakdown"), was an achievement in itself. Every day was an achievement just to get through it. But since then I have got used to this hell. I am not in mental chaos anymore. Just total despair. I exist between this and numbness, because generally it's too upsetting to think about the reality of my situation, all the things I can't have and can't achieve any more. In fact the only good times in the time since my breakdown, almost 9 years ago, are when my eating has been very much under strict control, often (though not always) combined with a rigorous walking regime. And the worst times have been when my eating is completely out of control. They have been desperate despairing suicidal times. BUT in the last two years I'm pretty much desperate, despairing and suicidal all the time. Because I know that time has run out for me.

The only difference now between being fat or not is that when fat I have no confidence at all when I'm out of doors. When thinner it's still a huge struggle to get outdoors, but when there I am more confident. Still stressed, but more confident than when fat. And that's it. Oh yes, I have that sense of achievement when I lose the weight. But it's not real achievement of anything that will actually make a whole load of difference in my life. Yes, being more confident would improve my life a little bit. But how much time do I spend outdoors anyway? At this stage in my life and in my illness, which I believe to be terminal, is it really going to make any difference?

The next important age in my life is going to be 42. I assume this to be the age when I will kill myself. I know what ages are important. I knew since at least the age of 10 or 11 that 28 was a fundamental, important age in my life. I actually thought I would die at that age. And in a way I did - I had a breadown and the me I was before, the competant me that could achieve anything in life if she put her mind to it, died. And I wish I had completely died, because there has certainly has been no reason for me to be alive since then. Since then I have been no more than a shit machine. Next age I knew was important was 36. I thought maybe I was going to have a baby at 36. I really thought that. I didn't know that age was important because I was going to have another breakdown which left me feeling like I would never be intimate with another human being ever again. And also took away any desire for that. And in practical terms I could never have children now because no-one will ever marry me and I would never be able to pay for the support I would need to look after a baby. I mean I can barely look after myself. I wouldn't make someone a good mother. And I feel too old and tired already to do it now. It takes great energy and positivity to do that. I am exhausted from what life has already thrown at me.

But for all I know it could be another breakdown waiting for me at 42. I have no expectation of anything else. Why expect anything else. 28 was certainly a symbolic death. I wish 36 had been a symbolic rebirth. But sadly not. Sadly it has just given rise to endless despair. A sort of emotional flatness borne of trying not to think about things too deeply, or at all, because it just leads to suicidal thoughts. But if you can never address the issues then you can never find a way forward. But I've tried so many times to address them and find a way forward and failed. That is why I've given up. For some people there is no solution.

So what is there left? Making sure I wear a size 8 shroud in my coffin? That feels like the only thing I have left to aim for now.

I am so without hope. But this is not just a lack of hope due to depression and stinking thinking. This is real evidence based lack of hope. I can't see the point in anything anymore.

I've been round that diet trail so many times and it's led nowhere. A feeling of "moving forward" with my life which is actually false. Just another turn of the wheel. Another part of the cycle.

I feel trapped and there's no way out. Not that there's no way out of my weight problems. But that there's no way out of my mental health situation. The weight problem is just a manifestation of that. It has no real importantance at all.

And why am I mentally ill? I can't cope with relationships with other people. It could be argued I don't get to meet many other people to have relationships with. But I had a breakdown in the first place because I was so isolated. I became so isolated because contact with other people seemed too painful. And it still is. Because of the sh*t I feel about myself that I project into other people's minds. Always thinking they think ill of me. And this is not weight dependant. And not dependant on my mental illness. Though neither of these things help of course. They're just things to hang other people's disapproval of me on. I felt that way before the breakdown and when I was thin. I have always felt that way. That I am not worth it. Not worth anything in fact. And there seems no way to change this.

How could I ever become a worthwhile human being? I can't do a job and contribute to the community in that way. I can't be a mother and contribute to society in that way. I know you may say I make a contribution in blogland. But I don't have it in me to write on my blog every day ie to really make it a big thing in my life. To be an inspiration to other people like Diane fit to the finish, or to give people things to think about like Lyn of esccape from obesity. I just don't have it in me.

That's the worst thing of all about having a breakdown. Losing the ability to write. Before it was my raison d'etre. Now I struggle to squeeze a few words out every 3 or 4 days. Really, I find it so difficult. I find I have little of interest to say. I'm bored with myself and my braindeadedness.

Self hatred welling up again.

It doesn't seem like anything I can do would count in the real world. I could do art classes. But it would only be for me. Not for a career or anything I could sell or make a life for myself from. I could study some more, but I'm unable permanently to do a job so what's the point? Just for the sake of it?

I can't anymore cling to anything that's false. And further study would just be false because it's not leading anywhere.

I have tried so many times to work something out, to sort out my life, to find a way of moving forward. And every time I'm buggered because I can't work. That's what it comes down to in the end. I can't actually take part in real life. Not that I don't value all the contacts and support I've found on line. Of course I do. But I have no possibilities in real life and that is the problem. No solutions. And I've needed a solution for the longest possible period of time.

Desperate and suicidal yet again and feeling in need of a binge. So sad that my life is like this. It's been this way ever since X left. I should have killed myself then and avoided all this pain. My life has indeed been fucked up by falling in love with the wrong man. And there is now no way of undoing the damage. It's been too long. There is no way back from here.


I should point out that I am not suicidal at the moment. I'll make a deal with you, dear reader, if I'm going to do it, I'll let you know first. I think that's only fair. And then you won't be worrying about me unnecessarily.


  1. Dear Friend,

    I'm going to speak to you from the deepest, most caring place in my heart. Your toxic brain dump is unacceptable. I've gotten so interested in your life since finding your blog, and I really, really want to see your quality of life improve. Yes, I know that there are some things out of your control. You have no family, you lost the man you loved, you can't work......but there are so many things that you CAN control. At the very base of things, you have breath in your body, and that breath is a gift from God. It is not ours to waste away. You mentioned you could cut out the bingeing and dieting cycle, but what's the point? I'll tell you what the point is. First of all, it shouldn't be about dieting. It should be about changing your life. For you...not for anyone else. Forming new eating habits, and yes, when i started, I also cried a lot. But I got through it, and you can too. You have to make The Decision that you ARE worth and of ARE worth it. You deserve health, happiness, friends, lovely surroundings. You CAN get on the right path, you CAN make yourself get out and go to art classes and the such, and you CAN make new friends with these activities. Those things right there will improve your quality of life a great deal. I know you have a lot of reasons why you can't....I want you to practice replacing them with reasons why you can. I'm assuming since you've been diagnosed with the depression that you're on meds for it? I've been diagnosed too and I'm on meds. There's so much more I want to say to you but not enough room in the comment section. If you're willing to talk, email me. I care about you Friend. I want what's best for you. And I'll help you get there, if you'll only take my hand. :)

  2. Tammy summed it up perfectly but I wanted to leave you this and please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Don't Quit!

    When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
    When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
    When the funds are low and the debts are high,
    And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
    When care is pressing you down a bit
    Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

    Life is queer with its twists and its turns,
    As everyone of us sometimes learns,
    And many a failure turns about
    When they might have won, had they stuck it out.Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
    You may succeed with another blow.

    Often the goal is nearer than,
    It seems to a faint and faltering man,
    Often the struggler has given up
    When he might have captured the victor's cup;
    And he learned too late when the night came down, How close he was to the golden crown.

    Success is failure turned inside out
    The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
    And you never can tell how close you are,
    It may be near when it seems so far;
    So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
    It's when things seem worst that you must not quit!

  3. Everything I do, I only do for my own sake and not in any way for the greater good of society. In a way you could say that my life has no meaning either, but it has to me, even though I make no contribution in any way to the community at large and it would make no difference if I existed or not. I exist merely for my own sake and do the things I do only for the sake of myself. I have no explanation to offer why I should exist and cost the taxpayers money, other than that I'm a decent human being who deserves to live the best life possible and who tries to make the very best of it. I am worthy of existence, even in my faulty ways, because very often I get it right and you will too if you allow yourself. People don't owe anybody an explanation for their existence in this world. We are not measured by the standard norm, that does not count for us. We are because we care about ourselves, and so must you.

  4. Oh Bearfriend!
    I wish I could think of anything to say that would help you, but I don't think anyone 'outside' really can, so I'll just have to say what I thought when reading this. First of all I agree with the other posters above completely. I do believe that if you can work on the bingeing and break that cycle, and add in the regular exercise, your life will improve far more than you currently believe it could or will. After all, part of depression is the belief that nothing will ever get any better - its a symptom, not a reality. Unfortunately, unless you are a proponent of the 'fake it to make it' philosophy, that won't come until you are ready to make the changes, so all you can do is be open to that when it happens.
    All I can say about your other feelings - if you do never work another day, you still have value. if you don't have children, you have value. If you don't have another relationship - physical relationship I mean - you do have value. Those are all things largely to do with cultural and social expectations at the bottom, and frankly those expectations are crap if they don't fit your situation. As far as feeling that you will never be intimate with anyone again, there is more than one way to be intimate and to connect, and you expose your feelings and beliefs here in ways that very few people would be brave enough to. You are so open I am stunned and impressed at your courage every time you post. I couldn't do it. If I were feeling what you describe I strongly doubt if I would even get out of bed, because I'm not that brave.
    You don't have to believe us, but if you have time and even a little interest in the art, or in more studies, why not try them? Perhaps through them you might start to see something of what the rest of us see in you? Or at the very least perhaps relieve the pressure of feeling that you should be trying to fix everything about yourself and your life that currently makes you so unhappy? Just do it to do it, with no expectations or pressure. If you truly believe that your life will end in a few years, whether through death or through a rebirth, you have nothing really to lose from giving yourself that chance now.

  5. Look, let's dodge all the pretty words and say it like it is: You're suffering from depression, your thinking is very disordered right now, and you really need to get back to your doctor and talk about a medication adjustment.

    Yes, I know you're mentally ill. As you know, my son is a schizophrenic. My adopted sister also suffers from depression, and I myself, who's now known for having itchy feet and loving to travel, used to suffer from agoraphobia so severe that leaning out the door of my apartment to collect my mail from the mailbox used to send me rushing to the bathroom with severe pain and diarrhea.

    Let me tell you, 40 (or even 42) is not too late to do ANYTHING. I got my masters degree at 41. I moved cross country a few times since then. And yes, I'm living in public housing, and there have been financial ups and downs, but I'm not out of the game yet.

    My son, who's only in his mid 20's, as you know is a schizophrenic. He did well in college, but didn't want to stay there. Yes, he lives in a dumpy trailer, but it's by his choice. He spends all his money on clothes and music, and going out with his friends. When his medication is balanced he's totally happy with where he is and what he's doing.

    You know that your weight and your bingeing are part of your mental illness. Some of your weight could also be due from your medication. It's possible that some of your expectations about your body and your future are a bit unrealistic, and that you'd be happier retooling them. That's not to say you can't aspire to love, a home, and financial stability: just that those things might not appear in your life in the way many people dream about them.

    If you're interested in more of my story... when I was given 5 years to live, I went out and LIVED it. Finding out that I have more time to live (especially since making positive changes in my eating, exercising, and attitude) was a bonus. Now I try to enjoy and experience everything I can. No, I don't live with clinical depression. But I do have other health issues, and am fully recovered from my agoraphobia.

    Staying at home and eating is the WORST thing to do, no matter how bad you feel going out at first. It's a trap, and it's important not to fall into that. It's also a trap thinking life is over at 42. As you know, I just turned 50, and for me life is just beginning.

  6. Hi Dear Bearfriend,

    I'm glad you got all that out, and I'm not sure I can add much to the wonderful comments already posted. What I do want to add is linked a little to something Tammy said, about your toxic brain dump being unacceptable. I know what she means...the fact you poured it out isn't unacceptable. The fact that you believe all that you said is. I had a counselor tell me once (decades ago when I was in a cycle of self hatred, misery and hopelessness) that my judgement about myself was IMPAIRED. Simply impaired. Wrong. I was offended at first, but realized she was right. She wasn't saying I was crazy across the board - rather that my self knowledge and awareness was totally fucked up. And that's what I believe is the case with you. You offer wonderful insightful comments to others about what they've written. You pick up things many don't. But about yourself, you are wrong. I don't know a ton about mental illness, but I know enough to suggest you consider seeing a mental health professional, preferably someone who can prescribe medication if it's deemed necessary. Sometimes our brain chemistry is truly out of whack, and there are excellent drugs that can restore balance. I'm not talking about herbal remedies either. I'm talking medications. It's going to be hard for you to pull yourself up and out if your biochemistry is off kilter. I believe if you could snap out of it, you would. I think this is bigger than looking in the mirror and affirming your existence ala new age psychology. You are a person of value because you've been given the gift of life. As long as there is a breath of life, there's hope. You deserve it.

  7. Bearfriend,

    You have some great comments already, some encouraging words, and some good advice. I wish I could fix this all for you.

    I just want to tell you that you are in my prayers and in my thoughts. I don't know if faith plays a part in your life, but my faith has helped me immensely over the course of my life.

    Life is worth living, and you are worth any effort it takes you to get healed and healthy. Please listen to your doctor and let her help you in any way she can.

    Don't give up whatever you do. Please.

  8. my dear sweet bear friend, we have ALL been there!!! I completely know how that feels!

    I hope this little advice helps ( and you know it comes from the heart of a kindred spirit) when I can't take another step, when just getting out of bed seems hard I reduce my goals to tiny ones for that day... wash my face, get out of pj's - whatever I KNOW I can do without a doubt. This does two things, I focus on something, AND I accomplish a 'goal' this gives me a small boost of confidence. Then ANYTHING else I do that day is bonus. I also try to find 1 thing, anything, I all thankful for and focus on that. I have found it is a lot harder for me to be depressed and thankful at the same time.

    PLus I give myself a massive break, if I over eat, don't workout, whatever my 'normal' goals would be I don't sweat it, "today I had a different goal - so I didn't fail at anything"

    I don't know - for what it's worth - I luv ya and know your headed to a great place... hang in there!

  9. Dear Bearfriend, I wish I could reach across the world and give you a hug. But I hafta say - quite apart from your "toxic brain dump" and what you are saying -- I admire the way you say it! You write damn well, with great precision and clarity. I only wish you felt better. And really, 40 isn't "too late". It's never too late to grow and learn and live.

  10. Oh Bear Friend - I wish I lived closer because I would be running to your house to give you a hug and offer whatever support you need to get out of the dark hole you seem to have fallen into. Please, please, please get some help, start taking care of yourself and turn your thoughts away from the dark side. It isn't so bad being 42 and fat. There is hope and you have to believe things WILL get better. We are here to support you and see you through this difficult time. Hang in there and know we are all here for you.


All comments gratefully appreciated!