I am currently sitting in Costa, the furthest distance I could get out of my house, forcing myself to write this as I know it is often helpful and therapeutic- a reason why I believe there will never be enough mental health or any kind of blog. In fact, I was very interested in a blog I came across the other day, in which a man wrote of his life with a peculiar addiction to sardines…we all have our quirks.
After a quite an adventurous previous few weeks of media appearances and visits to friends, I completely dipped this week. I don’t really know why, my mood fluctuations are a complete mystery to me and I have to either see them as completely unbearable or hilariously ridiculous- or if I’m able both (I suspect the reality.) It has probably been a combination of hormones, a disastrous transition between services in which people are having to get a legal advocate involved, and exhaustion as a result of lack of sleep.
I have been very close this week to being admitted to hospital for a third time which is pretty scary, but I have to face up to the reality of the situation. What I experience, sometimes not always, really is madness. Personally, I don’t find it offensive being called ‘mad’ because feeling reasonably okay one minute and torturously suicidal the next with no fathomable trigger, seeing people that aren’t there and hearing a voice that tells me I’m pathetic for not being more unwell or dead is what I understand as madness. It’s all completely illogical and confusing- I’ve had to delete my Facebook account as I was convinced one night people on it were plotting to kill me- mad? And I’ve been told I walk and stare differently when more unwell. It takes your functioning mind, plays with it cruelly- putting your life at risk, and then when/if things improve leaves you like a piece of paper screwed up to unscrew yourself and get up again.
That said, despite the lying voice, I still believe
“One Day at a Time”
“Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight”
One person may get a lot more done during the day, but I am proud when I struggle to even think how I’m going to walk to my cupboard and I can go out and buy a crossword magazine. That’s an achievement for me and I’m guessing would be for a reasonable number of people suffering with severe mental health conditions.
Furthermore, those of you who believe me to be pathetic or who believe stigma of mental illness no longer exists (I was told this by a psychology teacher recently) I would like to ask if you have ever been spat on or restrained- I have, it is the most degrading, horrible experience why would someone put themselves through this purposefully? Would someone be spat on for being diabetic or blind? I don’t think so, and if they are, for god’s sake it’s as wrong and sick as people being spat on for being mentally unwell. It’s the same as how dressing as ‘mental patient’ is wrong, stop dressing as me for Halloween! And if you feel the need to, please do it more correctly- I’m a 5ft 4 chubby brown-haired girl, no straight jacket, no spitting mask. Both, dressing as a patient with ebola and schizophrenia is unacceptable. There is a line where a dry sense of humour should end. Stop.
All this does is convinces a person suffering that they re even less worth trying to recover than they already believe. I don’t believe reducing a person who’s sense of dignity and their own value is already fragile, is ever okay whether through bullying, manipulation or discrimination. Don’t believe these people- confront them when/if you’re able to, but for now ignore them and move on.
And you know what, this has been to me helpful again. Getting my views and frustrations out and being able to explain to people where I’m at is a relief. Thank you for reading this and I’m genuinely interested in whether you relate/disagree to any of these experiences, let me know (unless your that idiot psychology teacher…sorry I have a line too.) And to those of you really struggling whether with study pressures, mental or physical health problems and who feel like they’ve fallen- “Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight”- “One Day at a Time.”