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OK, well, as sarah has mentioned, I killed this off last night.

i was beginning to feel like a lab-rat... because i've been honest in here and said what i'm feeling.... and i'm taking shit because of it.

However, I'm a little more sane than I was last night now, so I'm gonna keep this going, mostly for sarah, partly as a way to record my progress or lack of it.



Angel, I know you want me better, but this is a long process... and if you remember, my therapist stopped seeing me because there was still too much stuff going on in my life for me to focus on, and come to proper terms with, the tings that happened in my past.

As i said, I've got 13 years or more of stuff, of bad and utterly horrible stuff, (as well as some good things) to deal with. that's over half my lifetime, and it's equal to the length of time of memories that will never be more than that.

i *am* a screwed up person, i have severe depressive episodes, and i have good days. and the balance between those is the important thing. The myth that most people believe, is that depression is a short or medium term illness, and once it's gone, it's gone for ever. That's not true. Depression is something that every depressive will learn to live with and control for the rest of their lifes. And sometimes that control will slip.

I'm gonna just sort of skim over the Uni years... a sort of extended summary... cos i haven't told you this stuff.

My sister went into hospital in the first week of uni. The Tuesday. I got a phone call on the thursday saying she hadn't come off life support and that i should get home ASAP. I was on the first train i could catch.

She died on the saturday.

We had the funeral and stuff, and i went back to uni. and that's where the real fun started... i started drinking, *heavily*.. i think i managed to go a month without ever actually sobering up. i had lost the most important thing to me, my sister was gone. and i would never see her again.

i wanted to forget everything, or kill myself trying.

Well, eventually i started to figure that this was really not working. i stopped drinking and strated looking around to see where my life was.

i started trying to pick it back up again, starting with uni.

now, uni at that point had a nice mechanism that they abolished at the end of my first year... coursework extensions. If you had a valid reason and could back it up, you could have your coursework deadline extended and not by marked to zero when you handed it in. I used that mechanism heavily to catch up and actually do fairly well on my coursework for year 1.

But i was still a mess.. and things flaked me out very easily..

i took an overdose on paracetomol, this was, i think in december. *DONT* *DO* *THIS*... you die in extreme pain after a few *weeks* as your organs dissolve... not that i knew that at the time, or i wouldn't have done it...

I also have my first run in with a sharp edge and my arms... not deep enough to be dangerous, but again, i didn't know at the time... the intention was to kill me. this one was, hmm... february i think....

This is also where i had a fun little time with another overdose... not long before the easter break... a cocaine OD this time... and i got lucky i guess... i was found very soon after... and i got taken into hospital... housemate to the rescue... needless to say, that made the house uncomfortable around me form then on in... and they were just getting over the alcohol thing...

If you look back seven years, i thought i'd gotten over my sister and my little depressive bit... I'd not tried kill myself for months, I'd taken my first year exams and I'd gotten my coursework sorted.

I passed my first year through resits, because i fought for it. Not for any other reason. I did fairly well as well, fifty-something percent if memory serves.

I thought it was over.

But I was wrong. The summer break, no study, not work, nothing to focus on... all those things acted together and i ended up majorly screwed.

I went home after a few months of not managing to do much except feed myself occassionally. I ended up on anti-depressants.

I got a job, and I also got back together with my ex girlfriend from school, and spent alot of money travelling down to see her every couple of weekends to Oxford.

Again, i thought i'd got it beaten.

And I was wrong again. Back at uni and my concentration is still abysmal. I'm struggling to think and i'm struggling to understand and i'm struggling to get up and make lectures.

Into counselling I went, at the insistence of my Year Tutor and Award Leader.

The end of january, the 25th to be precise (i have a mind that remembers horrid dates... which can be nothing but bad...) Ellie broke up with me. Dumped me by phone to be with a guy she'd started seeing in the autumn of the year before. I got through that week... I was at home, lighting a pantomime my dad was involved in... i went back to uni on the sunday. i tried to kill myself on the monday. and this time i did cut deep enough... it was sheer dumb luck (bad or good..) that meant i missed the artery.. *just*... and i didn't get chance to slice again cos a housemate walked in on me and screamed and stopped me, took the knife away and called an ambulance and did firstaid and stuff... she didn't speak to me for a month... and i think i hated her for most of that...

Again, sheer will got me through that year, but I did not pass, i only managed to get a quarter of the the required modules.

So, next i went to my placement... things are going great, i'm doing well... starting at 8:30 is hard, and i'm still not sleeping brilliantly, but apart from that i'm ok... beaten it! !yay!

February comes around, and *BANG* ***MAJOR*** depressive incident. Overnighter at the local A&E... alcohol and drugs and cutting... don't come out of my room for three days. I *made* myself go back to work because otherwise I'd have had to sign on sick, and that would mean going to the doctors, and that would mean drugs, and i hadn't touched the ADs since going back to uni 18 months earlier. So I *forced* myself, for the next two or three months, to go to work, and think, and work, and after a month or so, i got so i could pretty much fake my way through a day and come across as fairly cheery... I went into counselling almost immediately after the initial incident... as soon as i was well enough to manage the intake interview, this time it was voluntary; i recognised i needed something, and that the drugs obviously weren't the cure.

OK, so we're upto my return to Uni and back to re-do my second year. I went straight from work to uni, with no break, and i thought that would be helpful... i was, atleast fairly good at getting up in the mornings by this time... but October rolled around and i ended up in a mess... the anniversary of Kathryn's death always seems to do bad stuff to me... so I started counselling again, and i went back on ADs... I hoped they'd help my concentration and sleep.... and they did, a bit... but i was really crap at taking them and that inconsistency meant they didn't really ever kick in properly.

My grandad had a stroke in early november. And I fell apart.

Then my Auntie collapsed and was rushed into hospital, less than a week later. They couldn't find what was wrong with her.

My grandad had a second, minor stroke in early december.

This was the last christmas that we would see my grandad close to being himself. It was happy, but sad... like many stroke sufferers, his coordination was impaired, and one side of his body was a lot less manouverable than the other. It was painful to watch him getting out of an armchair. And we all knew he wasn't going to last al that much longer.

Now, I'm gonna quickly sidetrack for a second... I've always been very close to my grandad. Always. Even though I didn't see him all that much, and that was mostly cos he didn't want to... i didn't know that when i was a small child, and i loved him very dearly. So you can imagine what seeing him like that did to me inside... how it tore me up.... how it hurt.

OK, back to uni... Again, I fell behind, and again I had to teach myself the material for the year... usually while I was trying to use it to write coursework.

I went home for the summer.... I wasn't convinced I'd pass the year... I knew i'd done badly in the exams. and i didn't expect to get resits... i thought i'd failed too many. and this literally was my last chance. the uni, if it stuck to regulations, wouldn't let me back again. I got *very* stressed towards exam time and the results day.

In the end, I had to resit a few modules, but i did pass the year... i even did quite well in a few modules...

So we're up to the start of my final year. this is fairly recent... two years ago... summer 2000.

I'd choosen my project quite a long time in advance, and had seen the tutor before most people had even thought about it, so I got the one I wanted.. this was a good thing.. I got to mix two things i love.... computers and music :-)

And the year started well... I was attending probably 30-40% of my lectures, which, by my standards, is amazing. It was just the mornings i struggled with... and i was making the odd one of those... And the stuff was making sense. I understood it, and I could even enderstand it when i went back and looked at it again in my own time.

The project started well... I started down the wrong path with it to begin with, but i caught it and got a better design.

Then we got to the christmas break.

I went home.

I went across to visit my grandad. He *looked* bad... he sounded worse... he didn't have a clue where he was, or who people around him were... i think he knew he should recognise people, but that was about it. the last time i saw him was the summer... and he did know people... he might not manage names, but he remembered relationships... he knew my dad... he occassiosnally thought my aunty was his wife, but they look quite similar, so we can let him off that one... and he knew, for example, that I was related to my dad... "he's goes with him" i think was his comment to one of the nurses... the christmas visit, he was in a total fantasy world. the people in the nursing home were people out of his life... and even then, he was not matching the names with the was that the real person had been, he was crossing them over, so someone he used to get on well with in real life, in this fantasy world became someone who he disliked intensely.

It was very hard to see him like that... soul destroying... and it was exhausting trying to keep track of this world... especially as i knew of very few of the people in the first place... but the names were always tagged to the same people... so if you concentrated you could sort of figure out he was talking about, say, the sister in charge.

I saw him twice that holiday. For most of the rest of the time, I should have been working on my project and some coursework, but I couldn't concentrate, i couldn't think. but i could see him in my minds eye... and i was very scared. because i knew it wouldn't be long now, not long at all.

I went back down to Uni a week or two early... i went in exam time, except we don't do winter exams in my department, so i had a couple of weeks... the plan being to work on the project and go back over the last terms material.

but the concentration was gone totally. I got lost in the code and i didn't understand the course. I think i managed to do the coursework... just... but that was all i managed in a month break.

My grandad died at the very begining of the first week back after the exam period. i left bristol for the funeral on the tuesday. i think i was gone for a week, maybe more.

So now i'm behind in my project and i've lost my concentration. and i should attend lectures.

nothing happens, pretty much for a month. i'm falling further and further behind.

I force myself again... i start chasing notes and trying to attend lectures, and *trying* to work on the project. it's painful and it's hard, and it didn't really come together.

by easter, it is obvious my project just won't be finished in time. i am advised to hand in what i have and concentrate on working for the exams.

So now i have to make my head absorb a year of material when it doesn't want to absorb *anything*.

I failed my project, and i failed some other stuff too.... but i was allowed to resit, and i didn't get capped, so i managed to scrape through. My project i got very little done on. i still couldn't write code, so i made a decision to stop trying and to treat it theoretically... i believe this was the write decision... but only under the circumstances. i literally *scraped* through my project in the end with 42%

This was, perhaps, the best i could do in the circumstances... but i wish i could have done better. i would have liked to have written that program, i'd have liked to justify the support of the people who helped me that year. I suppose i did to a certain degree... i passed my degree, I even got a 2:2.. but I'd have liked to do better and get a 2:1 or even a first. I know that if I'd have had a clear run through my final year, i would have.

Now, if you pay attention, you'll notice that there are 5 suicide attempts in there... i've only written in the serious ones.. the ones that could have worked... there were a lot of little incidents along the way... pressing blades against arms to feel physcial pain instead of emotional fo ra bit, that sort of thing.. but i'm not writing those in, it'd take too long, even if i could remember them all...

and there's an attempt that's not listed, because it's more recent than that... was gonna be another alcohol assisted OD, except i was gonna drown myself this time... i got sick and tired of Hannah going into a depressive incident and then deciding that i should kill her... and even occassionally going and getting a knife for me to do it. well, she did it on a day where i was having a bad time anyway... and i flipped and went into suicide mode.

Sarah, that's why i *know* that it was doomed. From about a month in, she'd been doing that. and even after my little alco-OD-drowning party, she still pressed with that sort of stuff... she still did it. the 'party' was the second to last thing in a very long train of things that were going to kill the relationship. it wasn't even a relationship for it's last few months, it wasn't even friendly most of the time. I stayed in that 'relationship' because i felt i owed her me trying. i'd known for quite a long time that it was going to fail, patly because i knew that i felt far too much for you for me to be in love with her. but i tried to make it work, maybe i even over-compensated for loving you by staying with her longer than i should have. i don't know.

the only things i know about my relationship with hannah are:

  • It's over.

  • It never really stood a chance

  • It made me realise just how much I love you

  • I was stupid to get engaged to her

  • I never felt anything for her that comes close to how i feel for you



OK, this turned into a very long entry.. it was only going to be little....

I'm gonna go try write code.

Again...

Bye Bye,

And Angel, I love you so much, so very, very much.

All my love,

Jonathan
-)O(-