The Hell Butterfly



This is both my first blog post written and published on my new phone and my first post at all this month. I should be sitting here thinking about how this may look when I hit publish, if the format will come out okay, or if you my readers will accept my neglect of The Hell Butterfly. Instead, I have been thinking about how depression is like custard.

Depression is like custard. Your brain is like a swimming pool and the water it is filled with is your life. You have to learn to swim in it. As a child you cannot swim,  but you have the in-built knowledge that means you already secretly know how. At first you wear the armbands of Mum and Dad. They keep you afloat until you learn to swim alone, and by then it is second nature.

Then one day you realise you’re getting tired. Your arms and legs don’t work so well anymore. Staying afloat is not so easy. You begin to drown. But then the water begins to drain, replaced from outside by a steady flow of custard. This thick, yellowy substance starts pouring down on top of you. This custard is depression. You know that you must get above it or you’ll be lost forever.

So instinct drives you to get out of the pool. The exertion that it took to lift yourself out with custard raining down on you has all but killed you and now fatigue makes you kneel, sit, lie down. You no longer have the energy to stand up. All you can do is watch the water get overwhelmed by custard. Watch your life be overwhelmed by depression. You are outside of yourself. You are there but you are disconnected from the chaos. The water is draining, draining and you can’t even get up off the floor.

And then the flow of custard stutters. The stream becomes a mere trickle, little bubbles of yellow goo growing and detaching to hit the surface every now and then. You can still see one patch of water in the far corner and you know that if you could just get to it you could turn on the pump and get the water back. You’re so tired, but this is the only way to make everything right again.

But you’re so comfortable down here. You can finally rest. You’ve been swimming so long you never knew how good it felt to just stay still. Be so quiet and so still … Maybe you don’t have to make it to the other side, you think. Maybe you can just stay here and enjoy resting until the pool has finished filling with custard. It will all be over then and you’ll never have to struggle again.

But you know you should get up. You know you have to get up. You must.

So you drag yourself up off the floor, arms shaking from fatigue. You prop one knee up, then the other, and you stand. You’ve been swimming for so long that you don’t think you remember how to walk. The complex act of swimming has replaced your knowledge of walking, the simple act of surviving. Now, with legs trembling in protest, trying desperately to hold your aching frame erect, you take a step towards the poolside. A breath and then you go.

Depression is like custard. You can walk on it so long as you keep moving. Steady steps, balancing your weight so evenly and so calmly. That is how you make it over alive. But when you stop walking, that’s when you begin to sink. Like quicksand the custard will claim your soles and down, down you’ll go. And the deeper you sink, the faster you fall. The deeper you sink, the harder it is to get out.

By standing still, you are doing nothing but falling. If you let yourself give in to the fatigue, give in to the desire to rest eternally, all that awaits you is certain death. But if you keep moving, you will make it, I assure you. You have to force yourself on, push your body and mind to the limit. You have to go on knowing if you make it you must start swimming again, must swim forever. But you must do it.

And you must do it remembering you have to learn to walk before you can swim.

It’s been so long …

… I think I’ve forgotten how to do this.

Good evening, WordPress. Jigokucho calling. Remember me? Don’t worry, I don’t blame you if you don’t – I’ve been somewhat of a non-enitity on the Interwebs of late. I have neglected this blog, but for good-ish reason.

This is but a brief post to give you all an update on where I am in my real life, and hopefully it will explain my absence a little bit. Forgive me, readers. I swear I want to write on this blog, but alas life stuff comes first.

The last few months have been intense. I am a natural stresser and worrier, so it has been a struggle to make it through the big stuff. They were unavoidable, so I did them, but it wasn’t easy.

  1. University finished. Around the start of May I finished writing my dissertation which, I’m not afraid to admit, had me stressing to the point of (once again) debating suicide as a last resort to end the mental pain I’d found myself in. But two or three weeks before the deadline I found the click and I was able to power through it all. I finished my dissertation, my short story, and my mixed media project, and I handed them all in on time. It was honestly one of the hardest moments of my education. Suffice to say, even if I had the cash right now, there is no way I could do a Masters degree in the state I’m in. I’ve been in education since I was 4 years old. I am now 22 and I need a break. I need to sort my life out.
  2. I had to get a job. A month of searching, applying, searching, applying, having interviews, searching, applying, having interviews. Nothing. I wasn’t expecting anything grand, or for anyone to snap me up for employment right away, but it’s a real kick in the teeth to be rejected time after time, all while knowing if you don’t get a job and make yourself self-sustainable, you will have to move away form the place you’ve come to call home. I like it here in Plymouth. I’ve gotten used to the surroundings, want to go exploring, and I have a boyfriend to do it with. I don’t want to leave yet. So I had to get a job. But even if I could get through to the interview stage I could never seem to get any further. It became a common thing to wake up and have an email saying “thank you for coming to see us, however we can only take on a small number and we don’t feel you are as suited as other candidates.” It really hurts to have that slammed in your face every day. But I stuck with it, I stressed, contemplated suicide – a now regular appearence in my daily routine – and applied and applied and finally I got something. After all that time I finally found a job. Even if it is with an agency, lacks security for longer than 3 months, and doesn’t exaclty pay its employees gold, at least I have something. I have just finished my third week of training, with one week left to go before Gradbay begins, and I will be put on the floor for real. I’m terrified of this next week – we’re moving on to calls and I am bricking it. But I have to keep telling myself “at least you’re getting paid enough to stay here in the place you want to be. At least you have what you need to survive.” But now I had the job, I needed somewhere to live.
  3. I had to find a house. My student tenancy finished 8 days after I started my job. It was nice as I lived right near where I work, so for my first week I wasn’t having to worry about trekking across the town to get there. I had time to adjust. But obviously, now that I had a job, I needed somewhere to live once my tenancy ran out. And so began my two-week long task of house-hunting. Checking Zoopla, Rightmove, Your Move, Haart, Spareroom, House Share, going in to every single estate agents from Mutley Plain through North Hill (a good 15-20 companies) and comparing each and every one. I found businesses that charged £500 just in administration fees, I found ones that wouldn’t give me the time of day if I said I wasn’t looking at paying bills on top of my rent, and I found two houses that were actually worth their salt. These two I viewed. One, a three bedroom professional house share, £365 a month bills not included. It was in a lovely part of town, a beautiful huge house and the admin fees were reduced for me. But I had to account for £3-400 extra for bills, food and unseen expenses. On my wage I couldn’t afford it. So I viewed the second house. A six bed professional property, just off the main road, £375 a month bills included and only £75 admin fees. I viewed it, I paid the deposit and I signed the contract. There was no way I was giving that place up, not for that money. But I didn’t have the money to pay everything upfront and move in right away. So I agreed that I would move in on September 1st, and I have been living with my boyfriend and his Dad for the last two weeks. It’s been good. Strange, but good. And speaking of my boyfriend …
  4. … It will be our one year anniversary on September the 5th. The last year has gone so fast it feels unreal. Having never had a boyfriend before him I was never really sure how my first relationship would go. I’ve always known I wouldn’t want my first relationship to be short, but I never saw myself two years down the line with kids and a husband. I wanted something that would last, but I was realistic that anything could happen and I kept my mind open to that and ran with it. Bambi and I have taken each day as it has come and we have made it almost to one year and have yet to have an argument. We have had the occasional disagreement, and we have hit a nerve or two along the way, but we’ve always talked about it and moved past it. It feels like we’ve been together a short time, and I’m still yet to develop any strong feelings like the Big L Word, but I am very much enjoying myself. I am happy in this relationship. He has helped me so much in this last year: helping me focus on finishing my uni work; helping me get a job; helping me find a house; letting me cry and scream and breakdown when I felt suicidal; guiding me through the proverbial dark so I wouldn’t want to kill myself … It will be a big day for him, for me, for us. We have acheived so much and we will celebrate our anniversary in around 2.5 weeks time. But on the subject of anniversarries …
  5. … It is the third anniversary of my un-death in 3 days time. Well, techincally now 2 days as it has gone past midnight here. The fact is, on August 18th 2012 I was going to kill myself. And then I didn’t. Some of you who were with Jigokucho around this time last year may remember my post entitled Happy 2nd Aniversary, where I talked about this very subject. I had felt dead inside for months before this day, but I made official plans around the start of August. I was going to receive my results that told me I had failed to get into uni, then I would write letters to friends and family, make an unofficial will, write my funeral requests and buy supplies. Then, on August 18th, once my family had returned from their holiday, said hello, and gone to bed, I would sit on the kitchen floor and wash down a few boxes of pills with alcohol and just … drift away. But then I got into uni. I realised that everything I thought I knew in those few months previous had been a lie. I had passed my exams and I had a future ahead of me, for the next three years at least. So I didn’t kill myself that day. It will be three years on Tuesday. The horrible thing is this though: three years on and I still want to die. Sure, I have my good days, and my down days can be fewer and further between, but honestly when the stress gets high, I want to get going. But the stress keeps piling on.
  6. I have to resubmit an essay or I fail my degree. You know earlier when I said that uni finished? Well, that was a lie. Turns out I failed one of my modules so I have to resubmit an essay and have it pass or I fail my entire degree. The last three years of my life have led to this moment, and it could be blown away by one measley piece of work. It is due in 4 days. I have only got 650/2500 words written, and I have no idea what I’m doing. I have 4 days to finish this, or my degree goes down the toilet.

Every single day I stress about my job, my degree, my wanting to die, my self-harming which even today got worse – the two red slices up my leg being evidence of the aforementioned. I have to keep focussed at work, focussed at home, focussed on keeping calm, and keeping happy, keeping level keeping alive, keeping fucking sane so I don’t screw everything up, keeping breathing.

Basically, it has been a tough few months. This is why I have been absent from Jigokucho. And it is why I will likely be absent for a little while longer still. I will try, I really will, I promise. But I cannot guarantee a thing. If I can think of something to write, and I get the time when I’m not at work or moving house or crying into my boyfriend’s shirt, then I will try my hardest to update this blog. Even if it is only a brief run-down of my day, I will try and write to you. I miss it, but it’s been so hard.

I have no more to say, so I will leave you now. Thank you for being patient with me. I appreciate the support you have shown me since this blog began, and I am thankful for every ounce of support that I may receive from this point on. But for now, I say goodnight, god bless, and thank you.

Is it Okay To Admit I Still Want to Die?

Six and a half years after I first realised I had depression I should be looking back on such dark times and rejoicing. Instead, I feel worse. I sometimes wonder how that’s possible.

Why, when I have a good life, am I still contemplating suicide? Why am I wasting time choosing the best method, the perfect time of day, the best way to be found when I should be out realising the sun is shining, and I am insignificant. I should be loving every minute of this finite time I have here but do you think I can? Like fuck.

Why the fuck? Why? Is it okay for me to still want it after all this time? I know what to do, I know how to get better. I have the tools, the help, the love, the time, but I just don’t want to. Why can’t I want to live?

Gaddmn I hate it. I hate me.

Riverdance, sunset, ice-cream, sleepy puppies, cloud-watching … The list goes on. Things, just things. Beautiful things that take no time to enjoy but all the power in the world to cheer a person up. The world is exquisite. It takes no time to appreciate it.

But I spend my day curled up behind closed curtains making nooses out of ties and figuring out whether it’s better to step infront of a car that’s going uphill or downhill.

Why? I just … I can’t even …

-Sleeping Pandora-

Shattered lines.
Literary shells
from a voicebox unprepared.
Physical, the trepidation
of the sentence, piercing.
Trapped between the walls
that make them.
Broken letters lose their meaning.
Lexical annihilation.
Harsh are the shards
of a syntax born of Mutiny
and Melancholy.
A fist unclenching in
the throat of the destroyer.
They will not come.
Glass fragments of Soul’s window
impale them,
those suicidal words of murder.
A knot entangled in
the fleshy chamber, lodged
somewhere behind the traitor tongue.
Intent betrayed to silence.
But for the throbbing ache
that stabs in spite,
all is unchanged.
He shall not bleed.

-The Eye-

swirling torment over water;
destruction in a blink;
here one moment;
gone the next.
Never does it solve itself,
the grey skyline confliction.
Never will the dust settle
on this heavenly candyfloss annihilation.
Above the water,
where the shipwrecks sleep,
an ever-watching pair of eyes
awaits the fall.


Mind and iris.
Fuzzy edges of a feeling.
Sense nonsensical and
line after
meticulous line of poison red.
Slice of rust.
Liquid pulsing into
flakes of coal-stained ruby.
forever etched now with those screams.
Oppression in a vaccuum.
All is lost.
It sleeps.

Conflict is the Bane of My Existence

I hate conflict.

I don’t use the word lightly. Hate is a strong word. There are many things I dislike, some with a passion, but hate is reserved for a select few things. One of these is conflict. I can’t stand it. Some people get twitchy at nails on a blackboard, I get it when an argument ensues. It’s just not in my nature to fight.

Conflict ranges from minor incidents to a full-on brawl. Weirdly I enjoy watching anime, which often involves blood and injury, but that I have a different opinion on. I hate the constant need to fight, that people can’t get along, and that characters are always seemingly angry at someone. But the actual fights themselves are often beautifully drawn and so, if they must fight, I can at least enjoy the art of it.

Physical altercations are, however, only one end of the spectrum. To some extent I find myself actually less affected by them than I do the arguments, the debate, the shouting in peoples’ faces. I can’t even watch Jeremy Kyle if there is more than one minute of consecutive shouting. I’m a turtle. When something happens I don’t like, I retreat. It’s almost physical, I actually feel my neck recede into my chest and my chin become one with my collarbone. Shouting just grates at me.

What’s worse is I can’t even listen to a passionate debate without thinking they’re angry. I stress over the smallest of tension in a voice, so even if what I hear is merely a discussion, if voices are stern I get tense. I have an anxiety over conflict. Any form of yelling or anger in normal conversation sets me on edge. It makes it hard when I’m with people who have naturally loud voices – I always feel they’re shouting.

My intense hatred of conflict has been fired up with the recent General Election. My boyfriend voted Green, my dad voted Conservative and I almost voted Labour. No matter what happened, one of us was going to be in the wrong. As it happens, Conservative won. In the few hours that followed this announcement more hatred and animosity than I’ve seen in a long time came flooding out in news and media: “The Conservatives only love themselves”, “The Tories don’t care about people”, “All they want is more money”, “Fuck the Tory scum”. I hate it. I really fucking hate it. The people who voted Conservative had a reason to do so, just like the people who voted Green, or god forbid even UKIP, had a reason to do so. It’s just the way it went. You all had a chance to vote, you cast your vote, the results came in. It’s that simple. The procedure is fair, couldn’t in fact be much fairer. You ticked a box, they counted them. This time around the Blues won.

Now get over it.

We have to live with certain things. Why get angry about something you can’t change? I hear it all the time, people give me advice and tell me not to let the things that I can’t do anything about affect me. And yet here are half the country complaining about a fair judgement that is no longer in their hands. Stop the conflict. Just stop it. It’s done.

I really fucking hate conflict.


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