Hello, I have a Mental Illness

Life is not an American AA meeting. When you introduce yourself for the first time no one claps or gives you a supportive ‘well done you for making the first step’ nod, actually, there are precious few instances in real life where you will receive a positive reaction for announcing your MI to others.

Hello my name is … and I have …

Everywhere I go I see posters and adverts for inclusion. I see awareness raising and positive messages. I champion these movements but fail to apply the same pride or fight in my own life. I realised last week that I needed to change. I experienced a few ‘triggers’ and it has taken me ten days to do something about it.

Before I had a mental breakdown I was always fine. I was in a permanent state of ‘fine’ and now, once again I am (unfortunatly) fine. I think the definition of fine is drowning in misery, unable to quiet my mind and really the opposite of feeling good. Despite this I get on with life not realising that others do not experience what I do; this is the real struggle of living with a Mental Illness.

I find myself in quandary. Having recently begun a new role I had decided that I would remain anonymous by blending into the office space and revealing little about myself but three months later I realise I have a problem and that is what and how much of my life story do I tell?

My role is to interact with my colleagues. I distribute work and ensure deadlines are met, applying pressure for staff to complete their workload so I can compile figures for Senior Management on our departments effectiveness. It sounds boring but it is not, I have a great job. I am still a Manager but all the daily management stresses (lateness/whines/whinges) are for My Manager to deal with. Happy in my new role I received more positive news that I am being considered for my Master’s programme and should return to university (upon successful interview) in September – Brilliant! Instead of jumping for joy at news that I was performing well at work and would soon return to study I began to panic; not outwardly at first but in my own way, I ate haphazardly, I was confused, I stopped cleaning my bedroom (trigger), I became disorientated (trigger), I developed a pain in my side (TRIGGER!) and I could not sleep (!!!). I was forced to take a few days off from work to rest and recuperate. On my return my Manager wanted to speak with me as she was worried that I wanted to leave. I reassured her that I was ‘fine’ but she seemed not to believe me so I confided that I had a small cyst growing on my ovary, the news of which alarmed her. I apologised for being blasé but knowing that it would soon burst and the medical profession would do nothing about it is part of having Undiagnosis.

That was last week and the pain continued to rage on. I am quiet and lethargic. I am not my usual self. The pain in my side brings my mood down and I am continually asked if I am ok by colleagues. I went home on Monday and I thought about my situation. I have not taken mood enhancers or daily pain relief for almost two years… I used to take so many … should I go back on something? can I be trusted with stockpiles of meds again? Do I tell my Manager that I have a MI?

As my anxiety levels skyrocket I feel myself withdrawing with feelings of hopelessness washing over me, threatening to pull me down into the deep abyss. It takes all I have to stay afloat. I am not ashamed of feeling this way.  As mentioned above not everyone feels like this so I need not struggle with stigma and caring what others think… then I decide to come clean!

Hello, I have a Mental Illness!

This also means I have a Beautiful and Wonderfully Complex Mind, Hormones that play to their own rhythm and an Abundance of Love and Respect for anyone who has the same. It does not often interrupt my day or make me irrational or hard to work with. It does occasionally make me emotional and anxious and I need more ‘time away’ from stressful situations then before BUT this is not a bad thing. I needed to slow down! I have always needed to slow down, put less pressure on myself, be less perfect… sound familiar?

Sometimes I wish for applaud, smiling eyes and welcoming nods but mostly I am proud of the small steps I make toward my own acceptance. Maybe I cannot stand and announce my MI to the world but then again, maybe one day I will

Namaste

A special round of applause to MindfumpJoonas KMy Small Surrenders and the rest of you for your honesty and warm welcomes xx

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14 thoughts on “Hello, I have a Mental Illness

    • I have changed massively this year and I am not ashamed of who I am or where I have been. Unfortunately some cannot understand or tolerate me and that is ok, I am not for everyone, I am for those who want, love and respect me. I hope my friends and family get back more than they give for putting up with my extreme highs, lows and listlessness – for this I thank them xx

      Liked by 2 people

      • Difficult to know what to say. Do you believe that the written words one sends out into the world are a true reflection of what one really is? I think then are a better way to communicate than spoken words and give a better indication of the real person behind them, but I can see where one might argue that they are a watered down version of reality. By the way – you’re good.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Hmmm good question. I have written about my Mental Health from personal, painful, reflective and biased perspectives. I have written to ease myself, help others understand and also to improve my writing skills. The latter has no truth, it is merely an exercise in the skill of ‘health’ writing, memoir or structure.
    Before I met Mindfump I kept my blog a secret outpouring for my pmdd which is not a true representation of the person I am at all. I am always smiling, pragmatic and positive – Mindfump’s effort to blog each day inspired me to write more and I hope that more of the ‘real’ me has shone out through the darker parts. I would love to write about more topics however I remain quite introspective I guess.
    What about you, how do you feel about your personal writing??

    Like

  2. First of all, ibizagolggirl: This is a very wonderful text! You have turned such an intimate theme into text so perfectly! You can write very well. You are a very nice and good-hearted person. The biggest problem is certainly, what you also called dilemma. You do not realizing, that other do not experience, what you do.

    This is devastating, especially when it is only written in the Internet. Your thoughts are at a much higher level than the thoughts of the average person. You are perfected in the complex thinking and forget that hardly anyone can follow these thoughts. It requires discipline and concentration. The consequences are that the reactions of people are different than you expect them to be. Because other person think superficially. Conversely, the actions of people are hard for you to interpret.
    The fact of hopelessness is easy to grasp.

    So, in my opinion, it is very important that you have personal contact with loving people who know about these problems. Then it is certainly not too difficult to adjust to it, because they know, why you react from time to time difficult. In return, you have the opportunity to study and understand the simpler way of thinking. If people are honest and good, you will see that there is no reason for distrust and grief. And the personal contact, looking in someone’s eye and touching someone, often brings much more clarity than a thousand words.

    The more complex situations are, the more difficult they are to handle. I have big problems, when it comes to thinking about several corners. It is tiring, frustrating and you quickly get to a limit where you think the head does not. Similarly, I feel, when I’m sitting in the metro between so many people in big cities. On the one hand, I am overwhelmed by the variety of people, but also overwhelmed and aghast, if I get the impression how many poor souls in the world exist.

    If you can trust your mamager, I can not judge. If it is a prejudice-free person who loves you and can keep the matter to himself, it would certainly be the best. If that is to be doubted, I would be careful.
    Prejudice is a bad thing. I do not believe in all this names of the disease, such as “attention deficit disorder” … of course, there are symptoms whose causes need to be combated, but the interpretation and intensity of these symptoms are very individual.

    You have a beautiful and wonderfully complex mind and certainly an abundance of love and respect for everyone who has the same.
    I would be happy to have a person like you at my side and I would swear by God, that this intimate story, would never be told.

    Liked by 1 person

    • WoW! This is much more than a response! this is a warm friendly hug and a knowing nod to signify that you understand my plight. I thank you so very much for reading and responding in such a way that my heart smiles joyously. Please know that whenever you would like to chat I will be here. I am growing as a writer everyday and I learn about myself and others through the beautiful stories, poetry and comments on this wonderful platform. I hope you enjoy my future posts and I look forward to seeing your work. Thank you again, you are definitely someone very special 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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