Is this bitterness I feel part of being ill or is it justified? Sometimes I feel as if I look at things with my eyes narrowed, suspiciously – channeling Gollum.

It’s part of the isolation and withdrawal I think. I retreat into me and my sad little world and everyone else becomes them…they does not understand, they does not care….

I came off social media as the bitterness levels being generated within me were utterly astounding:

  • Look at them all having a lovely time
  • Why have none of them noticed that I’m staying quiet
  • None of them are commenting or like my my stuff
  • I am not like them with their barbecues and family dinners or exercise or afternoon shopping.

I am alone. Not literally but in every way emotionally and mentally I am as much in a cave as Gollum was. Having a cave with windows was too distressing. Watching them all happy, all around me practically within touching distance? Well, it was too much. I shut the windows.

I could have continued the charade. I’ve got super cute kids. I could post their photos but that isn’t the message I want to put out from my cave. The message I want to send is an SOS. That message doesn’t get out though or, if it does, it doesn’t get noticed. Bitter.

I read Shoot The Damn Dog by Sally Brampton. Great book but God did I feel bitter reading it? I was bitter about the fact she only had to say she felt suicidal and she was hospitalised. I was bitter about all the psychiatrists, counsellors and therapy she had. I was bitter that she got 5 days a week to herself and that she could afford private yoga. Bitter bitter bitter. I found out recently that Sally Brampton and I share the same birthday but also, very sadly, that she’s died of suicide. May 10th 2016. The day after I got out of hospital. Anyway, I’m very sad that Sally Brampton died of her illness. Perhaps that makes the bitterness more difficult. I can see how wrong it is.

I’m bitter about my mum’s alcoholism, that dad didn’t protect us, that no one in authority did anything, that some family looked the other way. 

I’m bitter that I’ve been in this mental hell for 9 months now and in that time I’ve received one (one!) card of support. No one has got in a car or on a train and actually come to see me. 9 months of life threatening illness and people haven’t seemed, to me, to make any effort whatsoever. I’m probably being unfair and narcissistic but sometimes, every once in a while, maybe I can apportion some of my negativity on to others rather than absorbing it all myself. 
I’m bitter about the time I’m missing with my children. They will never be this age again and especially my daughter who is in toddlerdom; that time before we become aware of the world and can happily dance with no worry of what others may think. It’s marvellous and I wish I could bottle it for her future. 

I’m bitter about my career that has suffered. I believe I could be good at teaching, really good…but not like this. My career has been sliced and diced and carved up. There is still some left but it’s not the same.

I’m bitter about the lack of treatment options; about NHS waiting times; about the psychiatrist who seems to have zero interest in my illness, in me. I’m bitter that the drugs didn’t work – no fair. 

So, so much to be bitter about it. In fairness I think I do have a case. Things are kind of crap and it’s probably OK to be  a bit bitter. However if I am to move on then I must let this bitterness go. Replace it with betterness. I have to rebuild my life, in time, and bitterness is no solid foundation for doing that. The alternative is that I stay in my Gollum cave, my precious being my sense of being wronged, my illness. Just me and the illness. No, that’s not appealing. I’ve got to get rid of this bitterness.

I don’t know how to do that. 


4 thoughts on “Bitterness

  1. fightinglikehell says:

    Oh how I can relate except my parents were the opposite. Dad was the alcoholic and Mom did nothing to protect us. I’m so sorry you’re going through. It’s pure torture. And lonely. I get it. Our stories may may different but I totally and completely get it. You have a complete right to feel what you’re feeling and don’t feel bad about it. Keep writing. 💕


  2. Standard Deviation says:

    I’m sure that at the DBT will help a lot with these sorts of questions – and FWIW, I agree that it’s reasonable that you feel this way, and a first step to have identified it.

    Putting aside emotions you don’t feel are helpful can be started little by little… I wonder if you would consider balancing this blog entry with one about your daughter and the marvels of her age (which could be a type of ‘bottling it for the future’). It might help to try and get engrossed in the positivity of it – not getting too bogged down by realism (bottling the positive bits only), Even if you’re not really feeling it, maybe you’d try it as a creative writing exercise and pretend, because some of the key parts of the brain concerned with emotions don’t differentiate between fantasy and reality, but putting in some ‘happy focus’ can improve your mood for real. If you feel like it, I’d really like to read your observations about toddlerdom.

    Things like this can give you a break. A small step of balancing the energy spent on negative thinking and feelings with a bit of energy spent on positive thinking and feelings. The more you do, the easier it gets – it builds new thinking habits that are helpful to maintaining mood – and may be a good tool to support the upcoming deeper DBT work?


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