So as I was talking about yesterday, I wanted to see my Dr about getting a referral to my local community mental health team. I rang the surgery this morning a bit 8am and just managed to get squeezed in at 4.20pm. The difference between me then and me now is huge.
I woke to a beautiful pink and blue sky and was in a pretty good mood, I spent sometime with my sister this morning watching YouTube videos and laughing. When she left I went to start on my missions and this mood just hit me like a bolt, for no reason I felt utterly hopeless, I still feel that way now and have no idea why, its been getting worse and worse all day. Let me clarify, hopeless as in I will never amount to anything or achieve any of my goals, not suicide watch helpless.
I got back from the Drs about an hour ago, on the drive home I saw the same sky colours that i saw this morning and I started sobbing, how can I keep doing 180’s and possibly hope to make progress. I have just been feeling angry that I’m going through this again, it feels like a regression, I know it isn’t in my logical brain but my emotions are screaming ‘Liar!’ at it. So I thought I would write a list of things that people don’t talk about too much when it comes to mental health to try to get them off my chest and hopefully calm down a bit. I am not talking for other people, these are my personal experiences,
- I hate being asked every time I go to see someone about mental health the same questions before I can actually talk.
- Are you concerned about self harming?
- Are you concerned about being suicidal?
- are you coping with your son (which I hear as, ‘is he safe?!’)
- How are you sleeping?
- How is your appetite?
DISCLAIMER I know they have to ask, I know its is very important to ask, they save people by asking these questions. BUT when you have to answer them every fucking time they see you and they see you a lot, it feels patronising and insulting.
2. I can tell people with full meaning and passion there is nothing to be ashamed of, it is a real thing etc but the shame and embarrassment I feel at times for having mental health issues is off the charts
3. There is nothing anyone can do that helps me now, in this moment. Break your arm, sure it will take 6 plus weeks to heal but at least you have painkillers that work instantly to numb the pain. Me? it takes about six weeks for an anti whatever yo start working. So what do I do in the mean time?
4. Because of number 3 you can often leave the Drs/hospital feeling worse, angry and betrayed by an authority figure that’s there to make you better, especially if its taking you weeks months or years to get up the courage to actually talk to someone about it.
5. Sometimes I’m dying to talk to someone but I can’t for whatever reason, can’t get the words out, don’t know where to start , too anxious, have too much pride etc.
6. Sometimes you don’t want to talk to ANYONE and if your forced to it doesn’t always help. I don’t mean in the big picture, I’m a big believer in talking therapy if you are lucky enough to be able to access it/afford it if you dont want to wait six months on the NHS. somedays though you want to be left alone.
7. I HATE repeating myself to differently Drs. You have my notes, please read them.
8. I have anxiety thinking about the phrase, ‘what did you come here for?’ or ‘why are you here?’ which is pretty much the way every conversation with a new mental health care professional starts.
9. If you are lucky enough to be on a mood stabiliser or the hideously named ‘anti-psychotic’ (thanks for that stigma) they will most likely make you put weight on, which is awesome especially if you deal with body issues (spoiler almost everyone deals with body issues and if they don’t they would after putting on weight for no reason)
10. Lastly, I don’t know how to answer, ‘Are you OK?’.
Long story short, it sucks to have mental health conditions so be kind to people who do, we are at war with ourselves almost every minute of the day before we layer on the stuff most people take for granted (like washing, brushing our teeth, going outside) and then we have to engage with people. It is like living a weeks emotions before you get breakfast (if you can face breakfast) and it is exhausting and often feels futile, most of the time we want to believe you when you say it will get better, on good days we can see it will but sometimes we can’t. And on top of all that Donald Fucking Trump.
Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be back writing to you without tears rolling down my cheeks and fury shaking in my hands, until then,
Today more than ever be kind to others, be kind to yourself.
*Bonus point – having to over explain everything I say, its exhausting.