If you think that you’re about to kill yourself in the next few minutes or hours. You’re probably not well. Apparently, healthy people don’t do that kind of thing. Huh? I know, right?
You are completely allowed to call an ambulance. There are people at A&E/the ER who go through loads of training to help people like us who know we’re pieces of shit. It doesn’t matter if you don’t deserve it. They’ll help you anyway. The sweet fools. 999 or 911. Do it.
If you can’t face an ambulance and you’re in the UK, call The Samaritans: 0845 790 9090
USA? call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
If you’re somewhere that isn’t the UK or USA and can’t face an ambulance, click this link to find your country’s very own suicide prevention line.
And if you can’t do any of those things. It’s okay. I wouldn’t. But it might help. Try and tell someone. Whatever. You can always wait a bit and kill yourself tomorrow.
I’ve been sent a number of messages from people who told me they’d been struggling with mental health problems, or the crushing hopelessness that is life, and either felt let down by the help they’d been offered and received. Or hadn’t tried to get help for fear of not being believed. I’ve fallen into both of those categories. I’m by no means an expert, but I have experienced them. I know it’s piss.
I also have experience navigating the workings of the NHS and the private medical sector because I’ve worked in both of them. My NHS job was literally helping people navigate it so they could get the best care as quickly as possible. Just to be clear, I’m not a clinician or a therapist. But I know how this shit works. And even though my experience is entirely in the UK, the steps are more-or-less the same worldwide.
I won’t pretend to know why you feel bad about yourself or what kind of bad you feel or don’t feel. My experiences have differed from others I’ve read or heard about. I’m sure there are similarities with someone, somewhere. Probably. I’m not special. You’re not either.
I’ve spent a lot of time reading about depression while depressed. It’s really easy to dismiss advice about it. Especially if you’re in the middle of a shit-eating depressive episode, feeling entirely consumed by hopelessness and the advice is written by someone who’s all better and has turned into some kind of mad happy-clappy. OH I’M SO HAPPY THAT YOU FEEL AMAZING FUCK OFF AND CHOKE ON YOUR YOGA MAT.
I’m writing this to appeal to your negative side, because I know it’s what I needed to read not so long ago. I can’t have been alone in needing that, because I’m not a special case and you’re probably not either. Five paragraphs in and I’ve told you you’re not special twice. Make of that what you will.
Yes. I know my blog is called Lovely Alexander and I have “Be kind, have fun” at the top. But they’re reminders to me. I’m famously lazy and I find life is much easier for me if I’m nice to other people. It makes things so much simpler. It also means I have much more energy left to spend on hating myself. Apparently I need that. And at the very least, it means if I need help, people are more likely to help me. Sometimes I don’t even have to ask. The sweet fools. See? I’m a manipulative piece of shit too.
Quick note. I’m going to say you and me are pieces of shit throughout this post. That’s because I believe that about me and you believe that about you. Right? Or at least something similar? That’s why you clicked on it. I’m not going to try and convince you you aren’t. That’s futile on my part and probably on yours too at the moment. I probably don’t know you, so how could I tell you you aren’t? But if you can’t handle that. Stop reading.
Life is Fucking Shit?
Right, first things first. Do you have depression? Everyone has shitty days. But a good rule of thumb is to think back over the last week, maybe the last fortnight or even longer than that if you’re magic. Do the shitty days outnumber the good? Can you not even remember the last good day you had? Yes? Well congratulations! You might have a mental illness! You don’t win anything if you do.
Still not sure? Have there been some times in your life where the above was applicable, but there didn’t seem to be an actual reason, but you feel alright now? Well good news, you’re probably not weak (at least in this context). You might have a mental illness! You actually do kind of win something, but not really. Namely, it’ll probably be slightly easier to make yourself do something about it. Now some of you who fall into this category will be thinking; “Well I was just making it up.“
Why would you do that? What are you? Fucking mentally ill? Yeah, carry on reading.
Oh and while I think of it; Having a mental illness doesn’t mean you’re weak. Would you call someone weak because they caught the flu? They’re both illnesses. Not character flaws.
Still not sure? Well that you’re not actually sure just confirms you should at least look into it. Tricked you. Ha.
If the title of this blog post currently applies to you. This is gonna be really hard. There are no two ways about it. It might even be the hardest thing you ever have to do. But I don’t know your life. Still. Errrrrrgggghh. I know. I know.
So how do you do something about it?
Arrange a GP/Primary Care Appointment
If you’re anything like me you’re going to need talking into this part. Shit. I don’t actually know how to do that for you. Sozzard. But look. If you don’t do anything about it now. There’s a good chance whatever this is will come back with a vengeance. Again and again and again and again.
I know that reasoning sounds like a load of crap. But it’s basically the only reason. There was a time before this that you weren’t constantly telling yourself you’re a piece of shit, right? Maybe it was just regularly or occasionally. That’s still better than constantly.
Eventually you might not even have a choice whether to get help or not. This post is an attempt to convince you before you don’t have a choice. And yes. That’s happened to me too. I got dragged off to A&E one night. Turns out you can still feel embarrassment when you hate yourself and can’t feel anything else.
What finally made me go to my GP? Even if I felt otherwise okay, I would instantly tell myself to kill myself every time I made a mistake. No matter how small. Like finishing the washing up and then mistakenly putting a fork away where the knives go; “Alex you should kill yourself.”
According to a friend who’d been through the same kind of piece-of-shit-fest, apparently that’s not what most people do. Yeah, I was surprised too.
So next you’ve got to go see your GP. Errrrghhhhhh.
Do you have a GP? Yes? Make an appointment for as soon as you can. It’s hard. So re-read the previous three paragraphs until you’re convinced. Then skip the next three paragraphs. They don’t concern you.
No GP? Well it’s not drastically complicated to register. Firstly you’ve got to find your nearest surgery. Click here to do that. You can give them a call to make sure you’re in their catchment area, but often there’s a map on the site that shows it. So you probably won’t have to talk to anyone.
You’ll also have to prove your identity and maybe your address. Ask them what they require if you ring them. Usually a passport and a driving licence with your current address on is enough. If you don’t have a driving licence; tenancy agreement, utility bill, bank statement, council tax bill. As long as it’s got your name and current address on and is in some way official, you’re probably golden. Check with them if you’re not sure.
If you’ve had a GP in the UK before, make a note of their address too – your new one will want your records from your soon to be old one.
Take all of the above down to your chosen victim/GP surgery and ask to register. Wait a few days – reception will tell you how many – and make an appointment. So that’s:
- Proof of ID
- Proof of Address
- Previous GP Name and address
Can’t or won’t use a phone? Ask someone else. Hell, ask me. No, really. Ask me. Only a complete twat will refuse someone such a small favour. Are you surrounded entirely by complete twats at all times? People are usually a tiny bit better than you think. Only a tiny bit, mind. They’re probably still twats, just not complete ones. Let’s not get carried away.
If you’re scared to go on your own, ask the person who called the GP surgery for you to go with you. They seem like a decent sort.
Go to Your GP Appointment
No. You’re not wasting anyones time. People go to the doctor all the time because they think they have cancer and it turns out it’s just the sniffles. Amazingly, the doctor doesn’t tell them to fuck off. So a doctor is not going to tell you to fuck off if you tell them that you feel like a piece of shit all the time and you do or don’t know why. Even if you are a piece of shit.
Even if they don’t care, they still have to help you. It’s literally their job. It’s a victory by default, but it’s a victory nonetheless.
Now, if for some reason they do tell you to fuck off (they won’t – if they do, tell me. I’ll help you ruin their life), take a little pleasure in the knowledge that there’s at least one person (apart from me) on the planet who’s a bigger piece of shit than you are. You’re gonna have to make another appointment with another doctor. Make a note of the name of the shithead you just saw and ask to see someone who isn’t that shithead.
The GP is gonna do one of, or two of, or three of three things. There are three things the GP can do for you, is what I’m trying to say. Fuck me.
Medication is not a cure. It is there to give you a push. A medicated kick up the fucking arse. Ignore the quacks and pricks who say that medication is all a ploy by big pharma to stop them crystal healing their children’s nappy rash.
Also ignore the pricks who tell you that medication “clouds the real you“.
It would appear the real you is a piece of shit who keeps telling itself it’s a piece of shit. Right? You want to stop that, don’t you? That you’re even reading this post suggests you want to stop telling yourself you’re a piece of shit and stop being broken. Yeah? Remember that. Fuck all those shitcunts.
There’s a shit-ton of different medications out there. And they can be prescribed in different doses. Whatever the doctor gives you, it won’t start working straight away. It probably won’t start working for a month. It probably won’t have its full effect for two whole fucking months. All of the doctors I’ve seen have said the same thing about all the antidepressants and all the doses of them I’ve taken. But don’t take my word for it. Ask your doctor. They will probably tell you the same.
If after two months you’re still in the same way. Go back and ask for an increased dose.
If after another two months you’re still in the same way. Go back and ask for an increased dose.
If after another two months you’re still in the same way. Go back and ask for an increased dose.
Only increase the dose if your doctor tells you to. If you’ve reached the highest dose and you still feel shit or don’t feel anything, ask for a different medication. You have to keep doing this, until you find the right dose of the right medication. But at this point you’ve already been to the GP at least once, so you can do it again. Haha. You’re progressing. Nerr.
If you start feeling weird while taking it. Go back to, or call the doctor. If you start feeling super weird, go to A&E. Take the box with you if you do go to A&E so that they can confirm what you’re on.
Don’t stop taking the medication unless your doctor tells you to. There can be withdrawal symptoms and they are a cheat code to unlock a secret level of hell. You may be telling yourself at this point that you deserve at least a chance to see what that looks like. Shut the fuck up. This is a bad plan. I’ve tried it so you don’t have to. You now know that this is a bad idea. I have told you it’s a bad idea. It’s fucking stupid and I’ve warned you. There’s not a single reason to try it.
That you’re even reading this post suggests you want to stop telling yourself you’re a piece of shit and stop being broken. Remember?
It’s taken me two years to find the right dose of the right medication that works for me. I’m tall and a fat waste of space, so apparently I need a large dose. You’re probably smaller than I am, so you’ll get on the right dose sooner. Maybe.
2. Sign You Off Work
Your GP can sign you off work. If you find yourself struggling to keep up appearances, let alone turn up at work. Your GP can give you a sick note, but only from the day you see them. So hurry up. Sometimes they’ll even offer. But you can always ask. If at the end of the period that you’re signed off work you need more time off. Call them or go back.
Remember, this is an illness. Fuck your boss.
If you’re offered therapy by your GP. Take it. If you’re not. Ask for it. Therapy is usually very fucking good for you.
Then wait. Keep waiting. Keep waiting some more. Eventually a letter will come through your door inviting you to your first session.
If you can afford it and don’t want to wait, go private. You’ll get seen much faster and also keep the waiting list down for NHS patients in your area. Everyone gets a little slice of victory if you can do that. When you’re at the GP, check what kind of therapy they recommend so you know what type to look for – get them to write it down. Whatever they say, you want a BACPS accredited therapist and you can find one by clicking here. Any that are not BACPS accredited are probably quacks.
You may know why you’re a piece of shit. You might not. Therapy will help you find out why and/or why you keep telling yourself you are. But you have to be willing to engage.
The best, absolute best thing about therapy is that you can tell the therapist anything. They won’t discuss what you tell them you with your GP. They won’t discuss you with other therapists. They won’t discuss you with your family.
The only things they’re allowed to break confidentiality for are if they think you’re in imminent danger of seriously harming yourself or someone else (especially children). Or they think you’re going to commit an act of terrorism. At this point, I’d just like to congratulate you on not being a terrorist. You can find out more about confidentiality here. Death to the West! …Oh.
So yeah. You’ve got to engage. This means being honest. It can be goddamn awful talking about your feelings, especially to a stranger. But sometimes just telling someone that you feel like a piece of shit or miserable or lonely or you want to die or you hate your dog or whatever, feels good. Or at least, better than this. Just saying it to someone else. You’d be surprised.
Things that sound fucking ridiculous to you, won’t to the therapist. So you’ve got to tell them while you have the chance. They won’t laugh at you and they won’t judge you. Tell them every single reason why you’re a piece of shit. Tell them why you’re broken.
If you’re can’t put it into mouth words. Try putting it into writing words and let them read what you’ve written. Same rules about it being ridiculous apply here too. Doesn’t matter if you think it sounds pathetic. You’re a piece of shit, right? Is being pathetic part of that too? Yes? Ridiculous doesn’t matter.
The first therapy you get might not help much or at all. But you can be referred to other more long term therapies. You’ve gotta be honest with your therapist that you don’t think it’s working and why. If you’re about to go to your final session and you’re still a piece of shit. Tell them. Don’t worry about their feelings. They know it doesn’t work for everyone.
If not, you’ll have to make another GP appointment and perhaps start all over again. Fuck that. Tell your therapist it’s not working.
What Actually Definitely Works? Fuck knows.
Some people will tell you that medication and therapy don’t work, because they didn’t work for them. Okay. But are you that person? Yes? No? Whatever. Have you tried them all? There are lots of different types of medications and therapies and they all do different things. Albeit with the same goal.
There are lots of things that have helped people with depression or anxiety or other mental illnesses that aren’t medication or therapy. And that’s obviously fine. Take on board other people’s suggestions if you want. But don’t follow them blindly and expect them alone to get you better. It matters not one fuck if you can’t manage their suggestions. But if you can manage and it helps, keep going.
If you find you suddenly can’t. It matters not one fuck. Do what you can. If that’s nothing, that’s fine. It matters not one fuck. Fuck.
It’s kind of the same with this advice. Except the difference is if you follow this advice, you will get dealt with by people who know what the fuck they’re talking about.
If you’re making life bearable by drinking or getting high, well, I’m not one to talk. Occasionally this is probably fine. But if it’s the only way you can get through the day. Fuck. Sorry. Drink especially interferes with your medication. So you’re only going to delay the medication helping. It sucks having to give up the fizzy water. But you don’t have to forever. I only gave it up because I ran out of money and I knew I’d make a lousy thief. There was no way I could handle getting arrested. Know your limitations etc.
I don’t know how to give up drinking or drugs properly. But the GP who gave you medication and referred you to therapy will. The government has a massive boner for this.
At this point, you’re probably feeling completely overwhelmed with information. But you don’t have to do all of this in one go. That’s important to keep in mind.
Each bit will have its own day. Day 1: You make the GP appointment. Day 2: You go to the appointment. Days 3-29: Nothing. Day 30: First therapy session. Etc etc.
It all breaks down into tiny chunks and after you’ve done each chunk, you can go back to bed.
Also, you know best what works for you. If you suck at getting up in the morning, make your GP appointment for the afternoon.
People will tell you; “It will pass. You will start to feel better.” As if they actually know that. If someone tells you that, you won’t feel like less of a piece of shit. So ignore them. You might eventually start to feel better. You might not. You probably will. But you might not for a long time. As of August 2015, of the last sixteen months, fourteen have basically been complete mindshit for me. But I’m not you.
Other Slightly More Positive Stuff That is Worth Knowing But You Might Not Give a Shit Right Now So Whatever
There was a point when I realised I probably wasn’t going to kill myself, but I definitely wanted to stop existing. I thought I was beyond help. Maybe you’re not there. Maybe you’ll get there. Maybe you won’t. I got some very good advice from a psychiatrist that actually helped a bit; “You can keep living like this for the next ten years and get help then. Or you can get help now and maybe not live the next ten years like this.“
I showered for the first time in well over a week soon after I heard that. I’m not sure one led to the other. But make of that what you will.
So why would you accept advice from someone who professes to be a manipulative, unclean, fat-waste-of-space piece-of-shit, especially when this post is so blatantly a self serving ego stroke for them? Is this all a trick? Well no. But I don’t want to think I’m a piece of shit anymore. It’s getting old. I know there are people who don’t think I am. I don’t believe them. I know I’m capable of some good things – I hope this post is one. But in my mind the bad stuff I am far outweighs the good. Sound familiar?
I’ve changed my mind about lots of things in the past. So I don’t think it’s impossible to change my mind about me. I know it’s gonna be as hard as a teenage dick. But I doubt you’re as big a piece of shit as I am. Maybe.
If you found this blog useful, please buy me some Nutella. It’s all I have to keep hope alive.