“Will you ever love yourself?”
My heavy skull plummets. My chin pressing tightly against my chest.
What do I say?
The switch on my troubled brain, once again, snaps to off as my unfocused eyes stare blankly into my lap. The skin at the base of my fingernails glows red and ragged as I slowly peel it loose. My palms shine, silky with sweat.
“No chance” spills from my mouth, out-with my control.
I slump into my chair, ashamed and exhausted as the rest of yet another appointment passes in a blur; a seemingly endless cycle that has repeated for the last few years of this unforgiving ‘life’.
I fall out of the hospital and into the street. A few more shuffled paces through the car park are taken before I flop down on the frosty bus-shelter bench.
‘2 a – 4 2 m i n u t e s’ sighs the digital timetable as I try and drag my as-good-as-dead body up once more.
Alongside the dual-carriageway, I stumble along to begin the sixty minute walk home. The ice-cold air on my breath illuminated by the headlights of each passing vehicle. My mind brawling with the sensations that are flooding both brain and body. Music blaring through my earphones as loud as possible. The pain in my body becoming more and more crushing as every millimetre of rubber on my shoes is thrust against the glittering tarmac.
Piercing. Stabbing. Burning. Cramping. Aching. Shooting. Throbbing. Stabbing.
I feel defeated.
I feel like I’m dying.
Chronic pain, along with all my other symptoms, consumes me. And it has done for what seems like forever.
You need to get yourself out of pain.
The darkest of thoughts, that are all too familiar, haunt me again. The voice comfortably drowning out the lyrics echoing through my ears. That familiar, but terrorising, voice.
You want the pain to end.
You need the pain to end.
What the hell are you still doing here?
I gradually peel off from the busy road and collapse into the corner of Burger King, loading sugar into the dullest cup of coffee imaginable; the unhappy taste on my palette a strikingly strong resemblance to my tortured mind. As I prepare for the lengthy wait to allow the temperature of my ‘coffee’ to fall back down to boiling point, my phone chirps. I scroll back through my messages and read all the nice things people have said to me – the messages of support, the messages of gratitude, the messages of asking for advice, the messages of thanks and, most recently, the messages of congratulations. Once again, as I do so many times, I think to myself, “Why do people say that?” “How do they see that in me?” I long to feel it myself. I find it extremely difficult to accept it.
But I try. I really do try.
Once again, I think the voice is right.
￼During the summertime of last year my psychiatrist, who I have seen every couple of months for the past two years, referred me to the ‘Personality Disorder Service’. In the referral he described what, in his eyes, were my ‘presenting problems’ of ‘cognitive perceptual’ issues, ‘behavioural’ and ‘affective’ aspects and also ‘interpersonal’ difficulties. An investigation was requested due to concerns that there was more going on in my head than my current diagnosis of ‘recurrent depressive disorder’.
Despite there ‘only’ being twenty eight years of my life for the assessor to find out about, the lengthy assessment – consisting of appointments lasting for ninety minutes a week – began on the 2nd of August until they were finally concluded at the end of January. We spent time examining my life with immense detail – my life between birth and five years old; my primary school age between five and eleven; my secondary school years during which I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis; and then my life since finishing school from eleven years ago to present day. We spent weeks analysing each of those time periods – discussing any life events that took place, investigating my relationships with my family and friends, talking about my interactions with classmates and teachers during my schooling, and those since leaving school – in my places of work and my limited social life. On top of this my accommodation history, financial history, medical history and employment history were unpacked and meticulously inspected.
In addition to this, between sessions, I completed several pages of questions to examine my personality including questionnaires on my ‘Personality Beliefs’, on ‘Adverse Childhood Experiences’, on my ‘Filters’, a ‘Trauma History Screen’ and, finally, a ‘Personality Assessment Schedule’ completed by myself and also by a member of my family. Off the back of the many pieces of information that was gathered the doctor began to form what he called a ‘formulation’ where he would “look at my present difficulties in relation to my past”. Many of my difficulties were put down to stress, difficulties and unsettlement in my ‘formative years’ of which I can identify with, to some extent. He also felt that it was during this important time in my life that many of my deep-rooted ‘Prominent Personality Traits’ were born.
￼To be honest, it would be inaccurate of me to say I had an easy childhood. A separation of my parents when I was in primary school, a divorce, leading to a family member moving out when I was eight, and then a move of home for myself and my brothers all before I was settled into my first year at secondary school as a few examples. And then, half my life ago, at fourteen years old the beginning of my journey with MS began suddenly with a frightening mix of numbness and double vision before my diagnosis was officially confirmed at fifteen years old. To be truthful, this is just a fraction of the things that affected me. There were many situations that I found unsettling and upsetting but I will save many of the circumstances and finer details buried inside myself. However, during the assessment I was asked to try and explain each of these items as well and as fully as I could in order for the assessment to be as detailed as possible, despite the invisible emotional tsunami that it caused deep inside of me. I fought to keep it hid. It was intense as hell.
A very small fraction of the ‘findings’ were gradually presented to me over a series of appointments over Christmas time. The ‘background factors’ that the assessor felt contribute to my present difficulties were revealed and quickly discussed including: “…difficult family situation from early life”, “Bullying throughout school”, “Two episodes of MS aged 14/15 – impact on schooling and wider life” and the rest printed out and handed to me to digest and to try and make sense of. With each passing week I was awarded with a further slice of information as he shared his opinion of my ‘Emotional Difficulties’, ‘Cognitive-Perceptual Difficulties’, ‘Interpersonal Difficulties’ and, also, my ‘Current Problems’. And then, just before Christmas time, some of the findings were presented to me in an eighteen page document.
Despite spending a total of around two hundred and seventy minutes of the following assessment appointments questioning aspects of the findings, including how I felt under-diagnosed in some features but over-diagnosed in others the assessor remained unmoved. We discussed the document so far as I fought to make my voice heard, as best as I know, but with minimal success. I was told, on my last session, that the full document, once completed, would be sent to my psychiatrist who referred me and also to my GP. In my mind I could physically picture the unaltered ink being splashed across the page and sent off to those involved in my care. I was promised that I would also be given a copy of the full report, findings and diagnosis, too. The thought made me nauseas. I don’t think I was ready for it. However, I had to fight against that monumental barrier again – acceptance.
And so, I just had to wait.
The dregs of my drink splash forcefully as I toss it into the overflowing bin and shuffle out the door into the cold. I drag my hood up over my head as the clouds begin to release their emotion upon me. I fight to get some sound in my head in a feeble attempt to choke the non-stop narration and to try and drown out the screaming objections that pass through my body with every step I take. I yank at the thick wire on my earphones grappling to set them free as they battle to remain tangled against me.
It’s dark and gloomy. It’s bleak. The wind whistles through my fingers, sending a cutting pain through my body and into my burning feet. My brain telling my legs to power up met with negligible co-operation. I cross the road and turn the corner to rejoin the pavement next to the road home. I’m self-conscious. Everyone can see me walking differently. I look weird. My throbbing thumb taps onto the screen of my phone, fighting to get music playing. Listen to it. Focus on it. I try distract myself from the symptoms that have invaded my corpse and held me to ransom.
I feel like I’m walking on quicksand. I feel like I’m being sucked into the ground. My legs heavy and weak. My feet painful and warm.
“What the hell am I gonna do if they don’t find anything this time?” I ask myself again.
Where do I go next?
Maybe that’s your cue to go.
You’re done waiting for the next appointment.
You’re done pinning your hopes on something being found.
You’re done waiting for tomorrow.
You’re done trying.
In my previous blog posts, I’ve spoken at length about the rapid deterioration in my health over the past four years. It has seen me stop many things, decreasing the ability to partake in many more. The most painful one – plunging me from comfortably running just shy of over twenty miles each weekend to not even getting out for a walk around the block. In addition to this, the ‘cause’ of these symptoms remains unknown; continuing to both scare and baffle me and also puzzle the many medical departments I have continued to be referred to. If you’re reading this blog for the first time, it would be understandable if you assumed this depreciation was due to living with the unpredictable, debilitating, chronic illness that I do. However, since beginning on Tysabri (a disease modifying treatment) in March 2010 there has been no progression of my MS in any MRI scans since. I am, quote, “doing well”. Yet, since the end of 2013, the number of new symptoms that I experience increases every single day.
Yes. It really does.
Every fucking day.
My symptoms, largely invisible but, utterly unbearable to live with.
￼I’ve been seen by many specialists over the past few years, undertaking various investigations and examinations. Numerous vials have been urinated into ; many questions have been asked, countless more vials of blood have been sucked out of my veins, more questions asked; all accompanied by umpteen scratches of collective heads; none more so, I feel, than my own.
Nerve-conduction studies, rheumatologists, CT scans, urologists, breathing tests, endocrinologists, deep-veins scans, podiatrists, skin biopsy, vascular surgeons, neurologists, psychiatrists, MRI scans, psychologists, MS nurses, GPs, dermatologists, ECGs, neurological physiotherapists, muscle biopsies, oral maxillofacial surgeons, echocardiograms, X-rays, cognitive function tests, cardiologists, ultra-sound scans, orthopaedic physiotherapists, cystoscopy, rehabilitation medicine doctors, exercise stress tests and two separate bouts of surgery – both with complications during their aftermaths.
Meanwhile, a plethora of medications prescribed including Duloxetine, Tysabri, Ranitidine, Norotriptyline, Omeprazole, Fluxoetine, Domperidone, Sertraline, Doxycycline, Buscopan, Gabipentin, Ibruprofen, Amitriptilyine, Quetiapine, Zanamivir, Peptac, Venlafaxine, Metoclopramide, Paracetamol, Ofloxacin, Naproxen, Protopic, Ferritin Fumate, Besavar, Clobetasol, Pregabalin, Methyprednisone, Rhinocort, Amorolfine, Trimethoprim, Fultium D3, Loperamide, Benzydamine, Pramipexole.
In the past four years.
On top of all of this, off my own back, visits to a chiropractor and to an osteopath; sessions of shiatsu and of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy; and courses of hypnotherapy, of deep-tissue massage and of acupuncture.
Basically doing and trying anything I can to try and give me some answers. Anything to try and get me some relief. Anything to try and get me one step ahead for once. Even if it meant only temporarily respite, it would be some degree of solace.
It’s difficult to explain how much it all takes out of you. Appearing for investigations, then being told they’re, most often, negative. Followed by pinning your hopes on the next one and the next one and the one after that, too.
One of the most recent investigations into the reason behind my ever-increasing ailments was a muscle biopsy. This was performed in August and involved the surgeon opening up my thigh muscle, bursting through several layers of tissue, before selecting a sample from the deep tissue in my quadricep muscles while I lay there, wide awake, feeling every prod, every pull, every painful ‘zap’ of the cauterising gadget and every stitch as they sealed me back up again. The findings – an “increase in internal nuclei…in approximately half of the fibres of the muscle biopsy sample” followed by further testing on the specimen. As a few more weeks passed I received an update into the situation : “In view of your previous history and the findings of your previous muscle biopsy of internal nucleation, the Pathologist has raised the possibility of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy or myotonic muscular dystrophy.”
And so, over Christmas time, I was asked to collect the medical history of my extended family in preparation for a referral to the Genetics department. In addition to this, I was asked to provide a detailed list of my symptoms which, as you can see from above, amounted to two full pages of A4 sized paper.
So, in early January I arrived to see the Genetic Assistant – another department, a new doctor, more questions asked, more symptoms to try and explain, another tube of blood drawn. And now, next up, I will go to Aberdeen (about two hours or so from where I live in Inverness) to see the Geneticist for the outcome, whenever that may be.
And so, once again. I wait.
Beaming vehicles dart past me as I continue my hobble home. The numbing rain drips from my hood onto my face sending a shiver through my body. I’m tired and frozen. My whole body bawls with pain. I try to resist all the sensations I feel, attempting to focus on what is around me. Concentrate on the music. Concentrate on what you can see. Look at the cars. The streetlights. The frost shimmering on the tarmac. Trying anything to keep my mind engrossed and distracted from the inner monologue of my mind and the blunt challenges from my sorry carcass.
My mind, unrelenting.
My body, inert.
Blackness smothers me. I can’t think straight. My eyes, my emotions and my thoughts, a blur.
Overwhelmed with life and capable of no more. My world closing in. Feeling like I’m fighting for air.
I can’t live like this.
I’m only going one way.
I think about all the people that have been kind to me and helped me.
I feel ashamed.
I feel I’m letting them all down.
How long can I live for the sake of other people though?
Why should I stick around as not to upset others?
What about me?
I try and calm myself. Focus on my breathing. Think of what I can hear, taste, feel, smell, and see.
I hear the music in my ears, I tell myself.
I taste the wintery raindrops on my lips
I feel the rain soaki…
I grab onto my earphone jack and tug my phone from the pocket of my saturated jeans; my thumb swiping downwards on the chilled screen as I check for the message that jolted me out my scrambled thoughts.￼
Half of my fractured mind bursts with appreciation for the words. My other half convincing me I am not worthy of such remarks. A never-ending internal, invisible, tiresome argument. An argument of which almost always sees me defeated.
As I said, since I began fundraising for the MS Society in 2011 I have received various messages from a wide-range of people on a comprehensive range of subjects. Everything from people asking for my advice to those newly diagnosed, to messages of support for my fundraising, to thanks for the awareness I strive to raise through my various social-networking outlets. Additionally, recently, I was flooded with a generous number of messages of praise and congratulation.
On the 30th December it was announced publicly that I would be awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year Honours List. This award, I was told in the letter I received in November, was to be bestowed upon me for ‘Services to the Multiple Sclerosis Society in Scotland’. As the weeks went by from being informed myself until I was allowed to share it publicly, I felt a shade embarrassed and uneasy, but overall, I felt proud and honoured. I received countless messages of congratulations on the day and the days proceeding the announcement telling me just that. Many people seemed genuinely pleased for me. Newspapers were contacting me, and asking me for a story. I had a short television interview on the national news in Scotland. I tried to ride the wave. I tried to feel the good feeling in the messages and be grateful for the number of new people who got in touch to offer their kind words. Despite my mind not allowing me to believe some of the messages, they meant a great deal. I felt good about it.
And then, in early January, the overwhelming pressure, that I had tried to block out, caught up with me.
“So is this it now, Stuart? Are you just going to stop now?”
What could I say?
I was asked this question three times in early January, albeit with, of course, a slight variation on wording. Each time, I tried nervously to explain the number of other accolades I had obtained along the way and how since each of them, I had continued; being invited for a reception inside 10 Downing Street; being a baton-bearer for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games; winning two MS Society Awards; beating fundraising goals along the way included in some of the examples I gave. And after each of them, I didn’t stop. Each time I persevered.
I wish my mind would agree but a fraction of me feels I’ve ‘earned’ a bit of slack but comments like that makes me feel I can’t even take a breath and use some time for myself. To tell you the truth, I’m probably in desperate need of it. A break from anything. A break from any part of my life would be remarkable. But I just can’t get these questions out of my head. It really unsettled me. And the pressure in my head mounts and mounts.
And then, after a couple of weeks break from work for Christmas, I returned to work in January to some genuine commendation. Once again, I appreciated it but, at the same time, felt massively unworthy. However, despite these kind words of appreciation, I also found myself being met with comments like “you could run and pick up your medal”, and that old classic, “marathon man”. I wanted scream. I wanted to throw this blog in their faces as hard as my weak body would allow so they could see how much pain and sorrow I feel due to not being the “marathon man” I want to be, due to the overwhelming pain and sorrow that now compounds me every single day of my life. I have lost a monumental part of my identity.
It all, added up, made me feel sick. It felt, and still feels, an enormous physical weight to carry. The strain. The expectation. The eyes on me. The new people ‘following’ me watching for what I’m going to do next. My body not allowing it. The feeling of pressure, swallowing me up. People using that word again, ‘inspiration’ making my skin crawl with unease. The inability to ‘inspire’ and be that ‘marathon man’ again, due to my decline in health, suffocating. It has absolutely crushed me.
I love doing what I am trying to do, don’t get me wrong, but, at the same time, I feel many people don’t appreciate how time consuming it all is. How much stress it can cause in me. Trying to keep my fundraising going without running. Trying to make sure I prepare and find reliable, interesting content to share so that the awareness I strive to raise is as accurate, and easy to understand as possible. I could go on, to be honest, but like my symptoms, much of what I do is invisible and private. And, so often, I like it like that.
I do know that I cannot solely blame others for my reaction to the situation. That has to come from me. Perhaps these emotions were going to be felt anyway, but these situations undoubtedly provided the catalyst. I know some of the pressure comes from me. To be honest, it’s probably even more than I realise. Many parts of my personality mean I don’t care about some things I maybe ‘should’ but this additional well is then transferred over to care too much about other things, leading me to stress, to pressure and to feeling beaten so easily. I have next to no resilience anymore. It’s been drained out of me.
I’m never happy. I never think anything is good enough. Even writing these blog posts takes me hours and hours a day over weeks and weeks. And even when each time I finally find the courage to hit ‘publish’ I am uncomfortable at what I have wrote. I’m always hugely uneasy at sharing content like this however, I hope that someone, somewhere can relate. The process exhausts me but I want to feel less alone, like someone else understands, even just a bit. It helps me feel a fraction less alone that I do right now and do every day of my now miserable life.
I try my best to be kind to myself and give myself a break but I can’t. I rarely feel achievement anymore; or certainly nothing like the level of accomplishment I felt over the past few years. Without running, which despite only really being for three years of my life, gave me more pleasure and more achievement than I could ever imagine. I don’t feel of any value. To anyone. And in my eyes, see no reason for anyone to feel ‘proud’ of me anymore.
I’m drowning in negativity. A stain on life.
I’ll try do this.
But it’s not enough.
I’ve done that.
But it could have been better.
I’ve done well.
But they’ve done more.
I could have a go at this.
But it’s not good enough.
I want to do that.
But you might get it wrong.
Every cog in my head works in overdrive. Fighting my symptoms, questioning the causes, thinking about how I will get some relief, worrying about my job, stressing about my finances, thinking about not doing well enough, worrying about relationships. I could go on. And I could write a lengthy blog post on each of these alone.
It’s exhausting being me. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.
My concrete-filled legs trundle along trying to provide the support for my weak, pain-ridden body. The rain continues to fall from the intense sky as the ice begins to formulate on the tarmac. I approach the area where I live, tortured by everything. I think back to my appointment. Thoughts rush in. Memories rush in. I think about what I can do. Nothing describes my emotions more than hopeless. No hope. Everywhere I turn, every idea I have is blocked. Symptoms. Lack of money. Lack of ability. Lack of confidence. Pain.
I feel trapped. I feel alone. Completely alone. It was never this bad. What do I do now? All I want to do is escape the pain.
I push open my front door as the mail gets trapped beneath it. More hospital letters, more appointments, more letters from my bank. Amongst the assortment of letters, the postmark on a large brown envelope catches my eye. I wrap my icy hands around the scruffy, battered parcel, dusting the other correspondence back off onto the floor as my pain-filled fingers slide under the seal. I peek inside the bursting envelope and take a breath. I know immediately what lies inside. My heart begins to race, erupting against my drenched jacket.
As I slowly draw the thick report from its packaging my mind is flooded with memories of the collection of those ninety minutes. I feel I’m back there again, feeling all the emotions I did as I fought to discuss some of my deepest feelings as fully as my anguished brain would allow me. Sweat forms on my chilled brow. I can’t face reading it. The thought of looking down at the pile of papers in my hands; seeing it all there in black and white, swamps me.
My fingers, still sticky from the residue from the seal, flick through the document. Eyes blurring, acting like a defence mechanism for my tired brain. ‘Page 1 of 27’ reads the top left corner of the opening page. Twenty seven pages. Twenty seven pages of my twenty eight year life.
I rub my tired eyes as I glance downwards towards my broken life. I swipe through the pages and pages of information as my brain feels like it will burst. After a couple of minutes, my grey matter tells me I’ve seen enough as my eyes become glazed over with sorrow.
￼I anxiously attempt to resume what I need to do – pecking through each page; glancing over the content so as not to digest too much more information into my already frazzled head. As I browse I notice all the things I fought to have changed and to have removed. I mindlessly stare at all the things I disagreed with, coming across many more. But now, I know it is too late. There it lies. In the palms of my cold, painful hands. For me to see. For my doctor to see. For my psychiatrist to read. Much of it, I know is accurate. Much of it, I feel is not. I feel misunderstood in so many areas. I begin to think about how I am going to attempt to approach how to disagree with some the new information and diagnosis that lies against my burning fingertips.
Included in this – “While I considered depressive disorder in a differential diagnosis. I do not think that Stuart currently meets criteria”. My heart flutters with rage at the example of when I went on holiday in July 2015 and felt ‘OK’ for five days as part of the reasoning behind this. Depressive disorder, in my eyes, is blindingly obvious, and I am sure anyone reading this blog would most likely agree. I arrived before the assessment with ‘recurrent depressive disorder’ and left with no depressive disorder…
I read ahead to ‘Phase 1’ of my treatment plan and how I am going to manage to get through it. For some reason, the content of the programme doesn’t really cross my mind. I’m anxious at the timing of the appointments. A service for almost two full weekdays for two consecutive weeks followed by a group programme lasting two hours for twenty consecutive weeks. I worry about getting the time off work and how I am going to approach the subject with my employer and how I will manage it on top of all my other appointments, meanwhile actually trying to remain in my job, on top of all the things I try to contend with, behind the scenes.￼
I scrunch my life back into the tattered envelope and throw it on the nearby table. The appointments, the explaining, the ‘fighting’ and now the aftermath, leave me worn out. The accumulation of those ninety minutes in that hard hospital chair a far more exhausting experience than I had anticipated originally. I think back to reading the slices of information back each week and seeing my ‘problems’ presented to me on paper and now receiving it all, with the rest, in one big package. Being there, talking, answering, seeing it and reading it was one of the hardest things I have had to do. And my distressed mind can’t process it. Or won’t allow me to process it. I can’t deal with it, on top of everything else going on in my mind and body.
I feel a shadow of my former self in every way – in physical condition, in my mind, and also in my overall personality, to name just a few aspects. I find myself horrible to be around so I avoid being around people so none of ‘me’ rubs off onto anyone else. However, me being around me, I find equally difficult. To be honest, I’ve always felt worthless and invalidated, I think
I’ve been told many times that people care and that people are interested. I find it soul-crushing how I see nothing in me despite all the things that others appear to. If I’m honest, my mind tells me that people are only saying these things to try make me feel better. My mind tells me that they don’t mean it. My mind tells me that they say these things because if they didn’t I would get upset or annoyed. Whilst my mind does allow me to appreciate every single message from those telling me otherwise, it very rarely allows me to believe it is true. It’s never ending. And, like many parts of my life, it’s punishing.
There is a massive reluctance to post this. I don’t know how many more of these I have left. The process drains me but I want to feel less alone. Like someone else can feel or understand a fraction of what I’m trying to say. I feel alone. And feel no one understands.
To me, messages mean everything, no matter how trivial they may seem to some. For some reason, they are really important to me, despite finding them difficult. It’s a strange, incomprehensible mix. Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to see what some others see in me. If you’re reading this and it means something to you, please get in touch and let me know. I would appreciate that more than you know.
I grab something to eat. Nothing fancy. Just energy, basically. Nothing tastes the same anymore, anyway.
I shower. Try and keep the exterior looking as shiny and free of cracks as possible. Standing absent-minded as the burning water pours over my still icy skin. My mind chatting away, relentlessly, trying to gain my attention.
You’re a burden to all those who love you.
The self loathing increases. My brain convincing me I have nothing left to give. Convincing me to contemplate the end of my days. Again.
As I begin to get dressed, I try to tell my mind that people believe in me. I tell my mind that I am trying.
I tell my mind that I’m doing my best. I tell my mind of my achievements.
You’re worth nothing on this planet.
Collapsing my exhausted skeleton into bed I scroll through my phone again, reading through the messages of support, trying to flood my head with them to quieten the infinite drivel. Pain, as it does every night in bed, engulfs me. My eyes tired and heavy. My head, thumping. My pelvis and my legs, once horizontal, feel paralysed.
I can’t lose.
Once again, I tell my mind of my achievements.
Another day completed.
Another unexpected win.
Tomorrow may be different but I’ve made it through another day.
Despite the thoughts and the feelings.
Despite the sadness and the trauma.
Despite the symptoms and the pain.
Despite the lack of direction and motivation.
Despite being convinced no one is interested.
Despite all the uncertainty hanging over me.
Despite all the waiting.
Despite all the challenges.
Despite the emotions.
Despite the loneliness.
I lie motionless in bed as the rain batters against the path outside. Staring upwards at the dark ceiling. Reflecting. Fighting.
We go again, tomorrow. And fight, again.
Well done, mate.
Take the credit.
I wish I could allow myself it.
I stick two fingers up to my mind.
There’s my achievement.
And right now, it’s bigger than any I have ever achieved.
Maybe somewhere inside me there is a tiny hidden part of me that cares. That doesn’t want me to suffer. That wants to protect me. That tries to work for me; not against me.
“Will you ever love yourself?” echoes through my head.
I guess, maybe one tiny atom of me does love me. And helps me survive.
Maybe there is only just a chance. A fraction of a chance.
But there is a chance.
And now, to try find it and let it grow.
Before it’s too late.
Before I am defeated.