The good, the bad and the ugly..

When you live with a mental illness or two, you find that things ebb and flow. Like the pull of the moon on the ocean. 

 Certain things can lift your mood right up and other things drag it so far down. Many people struggle most with the latter. No one really likes a low mood, whether you’re ‘

depressed’ or not, but some people actually struggle with the lighter side of things.

 You see, having depression does funny things to your brain, you begin to think that you shouldn’t ever be feeling happy if you have depression. When you’re coming out of a low slump and feel that little burst of ‘today isn’t that bad’ it can make you feel like a fraud.

Like your diagnosis, ‘your label’ is the be all and end all of your existence and that you should always fit into that stereotype. 

When people say things like ‘you don’t look depressed’ it could be fatal. That person may already be at the end of their tether. Using all the spare energy they can muster to put on a brave face and go out that day and you’ve just crushed everything with 4 little words. 

If you know someone with depression, or someone opens up about their mental illness, try to think before you make a flippant remark. Try ‘how are you doing?’ Or ‘do you need anything?’ 

Those 4 words can make a difference for the better – this gives you one person that cares. One person that is there for you that day and sometimes that is all it takes to change the mindset of a person. 

Please be nice to people, you don’t know what is going on under the surface, behind that bubbly smile. 
Suicide and suicidal thoughts are very real problems that are not as outwardly shown as other things. The death of person simply because they have a chemical imbalance that tells them death is the better option than tirelessly fighting a losing battle. I don’t think we will ever completely eradicate suicide, but we can certainly make huge progress towards making it less common. 
Right now, I’m doing moderately okay. I’m not jumping for joy but I’m also not planning the route the bridge. 

Why Me?

This is a question I ask myself often. Probably too often if I am totally honest, but it’s one that I can never answer. Why me? Why not me? In fairness, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but that doesn’t matter. Mental health is taken for granted, and people who have never suffered with or experienced mental illness, in any form, will never truly understand those of us who do.

It’s non discriminatory, it doesn’t care what your background is, who your family are, what job you have, any of it. If it is coming for you, it’s coming and there isn’t an escape. So many people think there is a cure for mental illness and there just isn’t. Yes, it can go away, for long periods of time and it can be managed with various treatments, therapies and regimes. Adjusting your life to fit around it. Not the other way around. It nudges its way in slowly, little by little it takes more and more of your life away. Your freedom. Your spirit. Your drive. Your passions. It takes it all bit by bit and you have to fight for those things. Some days the fight is too much and sometimes, you’re there gloves on and ready to go all the way to kicking it’s ass.

When you are unwell with a cold or tummy bug or even a headache, a few pain meds some rest and ride the storm. You’ll be okay in a day or two, usually. With mental illness, you are riding that storm for the rest of your life. If you’re lucky, the sun shines down and you see many rainbows in the chaos, but for the most part, it’s drowning in a deluge of downpours, fighting against forces just to keep yourself standing and it sure as hell isn’t pretty.

I am a good person, for the most part. I do my best to be good to others, to help when I can and look out for my family. I try to do the best I can, in all situations and here I am, sat at home on a Monday morning, looking for a job that isn’t out there because I have a mental illness. I am stuck. I have anxiety so bad some days I can’t leave the house other than to take the pupdog out for a toilet break. I have low moods too often to count and I can’t seem to get a decent nights sleep. I try to be positive, but that isn’t actually helping. I try to pretend that I am okay. I try to push myself to work that little bit harder, but in all honesty. I. AM. TIRED. I am tired of fighting. Tired of feeling like that break isn’t going to come. I don’t want a lot from life, but I would be glad of a little bit more sunshine, please.

Why me?! What did I do to deserve this crippling disorder?! Why do I constantly feel like a failure and a let down?! Why am I trapped in this house?! Why does panic set in at just the thought of going outside?! Why can’t I just be happy?!

There is no answer. It just is what it is. I was chosen to ride this storm and I have to try to hanker down and wait it out. Surely there are better things coming for me. I hope.

Think before you speak – don’t be a dick – Week 2

Things that people who don’t understand say when you tell them about mental illness.  Maybe someone might read it and re-evaluate what they say to the next person who has taken the plunge to open up about their mental illness.

‘Oh, I felt a bit sad the other day too, I had a good cry and felt much better afterwards’

No. This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions of depression. It isn’t just feeling a bit sad. It’s an overwhelming feeling of everything and nothing all at once.

Emptiness, Sadness, Desperation, Fear, Panic, Anger, Sorrow, Guilt, Hopelessness, Exhaustion and a million other things too. All while feeling completely hollow and disconnected. A good cry won’t fix it. It might help alleviate some feelings, but you can’t just cry out depression – if you could, it wouldn’t be considered an illness.

I am sorry you felt sad the other day, but it really REALLY doesn’t quite compare to depression. Everyone experiences depression in different ways, yes there are many symptoms all people experience, but my sorrow is different to yours, MY fears are different to yours. It’s not about feeling a bit sad and crying it out.

 

If only it were…

Think before you speak. Don’t be a dick.