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I don't want to live any more

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 27 May 2016
Dear Patricia Marie,
I don't know how to deal with my emotions. I am a 55 year old woman, and have been with my partner for 3 years now. My son has left home, so I live on my own, seeing my partner at weekends. I am very active, and have a full time job, but just keep feeling deep bouts of hopelessness and considering suicide. Sometimes I just think everyone will be better off without me. It seems everything I do I get wrong. Friends are never there for me, and just keep their distance if they see I am down. They only want me around when I am happy or can do something for them. My partner gets very irritated if I get upset, and if I try to explain my feelings he tells me I am just going on about it, and to leave it. I want to give up, close myself off, curl up in a ball and sleep forever so it doesn't hurt any more.

I don't want to go on anti-depressants, or sit explaining my patheticness to a counsellor, so I really don't know how things will ever improve. Unless I just kill myself, which seems the best solution, then no-one has to be bothered by me anymore.

Patricia Marie says...

Being suicidal can feel like an everlasting trap, and you may believe that no matter what you do, or how hard you try, you will never get better. The majority of people who contemplate taking their own lives do not actually want to die; they want to be free of the emotional pain, and live a different life to the one they have. You are not pathetic for feeling as you do - you are depressed. Stop blaming yourself right now. Depression is an illness, and, like any debilitating condition, needs treatment.

Family and friends don't always understand the severity of depression, unless they have themselves experienced it, and can't offer what you need, so it's helpful to seek out people who can. Getting professional help is vital. I truly believe you would benefit from group counselling. I frequently suggest this form of therapy, as many people feel much better understood when they meet others in similar situations to their own. If you contact MIND, they can organise this, as well as providing ongoing support and advice for you at this difficult time. I would also like you to consider discussing a treatment plan with your GP, as it may be that a small amount of medication could make a huge difference to the way you are feeling. In addition, when you feel suicidal, please pick up the phone and contact The Samaritans. They offer excellent support at times of distress and hopelessness.

Once you receive the help you deserve, you will hopefully feel strong enough to start focusing your energy on you, not on others. It may be that your relationships need work, for you to eliminate any negativity around you, but for now, your own wellbeing is priority. To lift your mood, you must allow yourself 'me' time - go for some nice walks, breathe in the fresh air, look at the beauty around you, eat well, meditate, and ensure you get plenty of sleep. It is so much easier to face the world when you aren't tired – emotionally or physically.

We are all totally unique, and as such until your last breath your contribution to this world is essential. Death has little to offer when you compare it to the countless possibilities of life. You will hopefully soon see that yours is very much worth living, and that the darkness you are experiencing now will soon be replaced by much brightness.

MIND 0300 123 3393
Samaritans 116 123

Chocolate Dreams

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 26 May 2016
jamesMeet our new Young Gentleman About Town, James Crawford-SmithThis week our new Young Gentleman About Town, James Crawford-Smith indulges in some chocolate comfort...

Do you dream in chocolate? Well if you do (or if you want to) then 'the comforter' treatment now available in Lush Spa's across the country is certainly the treat for you.

I arrived at the Lush Spa on the Kings Road, hot and slightly sweaty, coming down from a long day at the office and was immediately approached by a smiling member of staff. She knew exactly what I was feeling and guided me to a chair, sedating me with a glass of ice cold cucumber water.

After a browse of the store I was taken downstairs to a Cotswolds country kitchen to meet my therapist, Maddie. After signing a disclaimer and getting all the medical questions out of the way I was shown a tea cup with steaming brown liquid in it, emitting a heavenly smell of chocolate and soap. I was talked through each element of the treatment and found out the tea cup contained the exfoliating liquid, which would buff my body to a brilliant shine.

The treatment room itself is cool, calm and kitsch. Lit with a soft pink glow, the environment is tranquil and peaceful. I lay on the treatment bed beneath a sheet and Maddie then Lay the thickest, warmest, electric duvet over me as she turned on the specially curated Lush playlist- tailored to my treatment- think children's songs with a hipster twist (while not really my scene I went with it).

The exfoliating begins with Maddie exposing each limb and gently but effectively buffing the skin. After say one arm is done, it is returned under the blanket so that only one body part is exposed at one time. The feeling of being greasy in bed was a little disturbing but I could appreciate the reasoning behind it.

After being exfoliated to within an inch of my life and being rubbed down with hot mits, came the massage. Rose scented bubbled were switched on (and quickly switched off - paired with the music I found it a bit much) and I melted into the deep level of calm I had hoped to achieve. The rolling massage technique was incredible and I didn't want it to end.

This treatment required absolutely no showering afterwards and the massage bars used are created to leave your skin non greasy, so you can dress and leave immediately following your experience.


After dressing and leaving the dulcet tones of an indie girl singing 'what the world needs now', I was taken back to the kitchen by lovely Maddie and presented with a ball of candy floss in a high ball glass. I was instructed to pour a small vile of pink liquid into the glass a la Alice in Wonderland and drink the liquid. It was extremely sweet, decadent and sickly .... I loved every second of it.

Leaving the store and emerging out onto the Kings Road the hot, sweaty, stressed guy I walked in as was no longer. I felt as though the treatment had achieved its objectives and while the frilly, sweet additions may seem a little indulgent- isn't that what you want from a trip to the spa?!

The Comforter is available in Lush Spas across the country, and the 90 minute treatment is priced at £85

Stalker ex

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 20 May 2016
Dear Patricia Marie,

Last year I met a man through a dating site and went out with him just the once. Before our date I had spoken with him a few times, and felt comfortable enough to progress to the next stage of meeting him. However, during the date it became evident we were not suited, and I cut the evening short. I made it clear I wouldn't want to take it any further, and as far as I was concerned left on friendly terms.

I then went on to meet another man whom I've been with for 8 months and couldn't be happier. The problem is the previous date is incessantly contacting me, demanding I give him another chance, even though I have texted him that I have moved on, and asked him to leave me alone.

Despite this, he continues to phones me at least twice a day. I never respond, but he is now leaving messages of a threatening nature saying if I don't meet him he will tell my new boyfriend I slept with him on the first and only date, which is obviously totally untrue. He emails me the same sort of messages too.

I am wanting to change my contact details but this would create much inconvenience. Thankfully he doesn't know where I work or live, but the messages are becoming more frequent and intense with him declaring his undying love for me.

Perhaps I am overreacting, but I am now becoming scared. I do know where he lives, and have thought about going to see him to confront him, but not sure it will make a difference.

What do you suggest?

Patricia Marie says...

This man is stalking you, and it is imperative that you protect yourself and put an end to his disturbing behaviour. Do not meet with him under any circumstances as this could exacerbate the situation. You are doing the right thing by not responding to his messages. Retain every one he has sent you, and make a note of every phone call. Go to the police with this evidence and tell them you are extremely concerned for your safety. You also need to consult a solicitor for legal advice on the possibility of obtaining a restraining order from the Court, which would prevent this man contacting you. Please do not downplay your fear, as his actions are a great cause for concern, and you are most certainly not overreacting.

I strongly advise you to change your telephone numbers and email address immediately. Be aware also that online social networks like Facebook are an open resource for tracking someone, so be sure to update your privacy settings, or better still, for the time being, remove your profile. These changes will give you peace of mind and deter all future contact, and any resultant inconvenience is surely acceptable, considering the alternative.

His declaration of love is not love, it's harassment, which has to be stopped. Stalking is dangerous and a serious crime. It can cause severe psychological distress to its victim, with side effects such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance and post traumatic stress, and in some cases even result in physical harm, which is why I urge you to act right now.

For further help and advice call: The National Stalking Helpline. 0808 802 0300

I feel that my mother can no longer live by herself

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 12 May 2016
I've been worrying about this for a while but feel that the time has finally come to address it. My mother is 87 and has lived on her own for the past 16 years since her husband (my father) died. She has always been very independent but is now struggling to cope with day to day tasks. I feel that deep down she knows this but refuses to acknowledge it. I don't like her being alone in case something happens.

I don't know what to do. How do people deal with this? I don't want to force my mother into something she doesn't want but I can't see how she can live safely and comfortably on her own.

Please help.

Patricia Marie says...

Many older people see themselves as proud survivors, who, despite declining health, can deal with whatever life throws at them. The wartime generation value their independence, often digging their heels in if they feel bullied in any way.

Uncertainty and fear of change can cause them much distress, as they desperately try to stay in control of themselves and their environment. However, there comes a time when decisions need to be made on the best options of ensuring them independence but keeping them safe and happy too.

Your mother is extremely blessed to have such a caring daughter, but put yourself in her shoes and imagine your children writing a similar letter about you. Before pushing her to accept that she is becoming more vulnerable, and that she needs help to sort out her living arrangements, try to understand her feelings. Have a heart to heart with her, listen with empathy, and reassure her by involving her with any subsequent decisions. You could perhaps also enlist a family friend, her GP, the local vicar, or a social worker to talk to her and reinforce your concerns.

Social Services have a duty to provide care, and if you contact them they could put a suitable care package together. Your mother's house could be adapted to suit her needs, and it may be that with a little assistance, and a personal alarm, she will be able to continue to live at home. A carer could become a regular companion as well as a huge form of support to her. Day centres are also available for senior citizens, providing an abundance of amenities and activities that she may enjoy, alongside making some new friends with similar needs to hers. Alternatively, offer to visit some local sheltered living centres and care homes with her. She may be impressed to see how different they can be to the stereotypical 'Old People's Home' of days gone by.

If your mother could be more accepting of the situation, she may even get to enjoy her change of life, as later years can be highly pleasurable and fulfilling, with the additional benefit of hopefully enjoying unfettered time with you.

Age UK are an organisation offering invaluable support and advice for the elderly and family members: 0800 169 2081
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Dark memories coming back to me

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 29 April 2016
I have read the recent reader's problem about the Helen and Rob storyline in the Archers. I myself was a victim of domestic abuse ten years ago, yet why is it when following their continuing story, that I feel so tearful and almost a sense of panic overcomes me. As the story progresses it's bringing back those dark memories. I too was in prison, for finally standing up for myself and attacking my husband, and like Helen was separated from my child. I keep thinking that if only I had recognised the signs, and acted sooner by leaving him, I would have never experienced such an ordeal. I have no-one to speak to about my past, as I feel nobody would understand. Do you think counselling would possibly help me, even though my trauma was such a long time ago? I appreciate it would be much simpler to turn the radio off, but for whatever reason I feel addicted to the storyline and am wanting a happy ending.

Patricia Marie says...

Thank you for entrusting me with your heartrending story. I am so sorry for what you have had to endure. Being a victim of domestic violence is devastating in itself, yet to be sentenced to prison and to have been apart from your child under such shocking circumstances is utterly unthinkable. It is no wonder you are feeling as you do whilst listening to The Archer's current riveting storyline, but you are not alone, as this powerful drama continues to touch so many people in the real world. Yes, you could turn the radio off to stop it affecting you, but somehow, if the show's writers had not portrayed domestic violence as being so horrific, it would undermine many of the actual victims suffering abuse.

Please don't blame yourself for not leaving your husband sooner. There are a myriad reasons it can be untenable to leave an abusive partner – fear of retaliation, having young children and nowhere to go, worrying others will disbelieve you, and often victims convince themselves that their abuser's behaviour will improve. The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal. It is never too late to seek professional help. Many years after victims have escaped their abuser, it's not uncommon for them to develop symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), such as flashbacks, nightmares, tearfulness and panic attacks. As you are displaying these signs, I feel that therapy would be of great benefit, to explore any emotions that may have been repressed, and allow you to move forward and leave the past very much behind. Women's Aid can provide both individual and group counselling, where you would be able to meet other sufferers of domestic violence, and feel very much understood. You could also draw comfort from the group, as members who start off as strangers, can, after sharing each other's experiences, become a valuable and trusted source of support.

I would like to offer you my best wishes for a happy ever after, and one that we are all wanting for Helen too.

Women's Aid 24 hour helpline on 0800 2000 247

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