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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34 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 3 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??

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  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

  3. I obviously haven’t been doing a good job with keeping up with the blogs I follow seeing as it’s taken so many months for me to read this.
    What a shock it was for me to read this post and see your expression of thanks to me.
    Thank you in return for the honesty and personal truth you share in your writing.

    I won’t call you brave for writing this and telling your truth. However, I will say how wonderful it is that you have reached a place where you can so thoroughly lean into who you are. It’s a hard place to get to and I know how terrifying it can be to take such a close look at yourself.
    One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that being honest about who we are doesn’t mean we have to bare every aspect of our being to everyone in and around our lives. We get to decide what and how much we share. If the people with whom we share become uncomfortable or judge us for what we share that is a reflection of who they are and should in no way make us feel bad.
    Keep telling your truth because knowing who you are makes you stronger 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helloooooo! MSS I hope you are well! I’ve checked on your blog a few times and noticed you’ve been quiet of late.
      Thank you for your kind words, it has been a life changing journey and I learn something each day.
      I have been doing so so well, keeping the stress levels down and focusing on my future but I am not immune from hormonal hiccups and am in pain again. On a positive note my pain spurs my writing on and finding support in reading and following blogs like yours helps me.
      I’m happy to hear from you, Have a wonderful day

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi ibizagoldgirl!
        This message puts a smile on my face 🙂
        I’m happy to hear your coping strategies are working for you.
        Don’t let the hiccups weigh on you too heavily. I’m saying that from a place of support because I know how hard it is to have pain flare up and trying to find the strength to deal with it. Handle it the best you can with what you have available to you because that’s all you can do.
        I have been a bit quiet lately because of my own flare ups and working through the emotions that come with failed treatments. However, like you, I’m always writing.
        One of the tools I added to continue sharing about what is happening with me, even when I’m at my worst, is Instagram. It doesn’t take as much energy or time to post something short there from my phone.
        I hope you too are having a wonderful day today 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, you write so admirably! I fully understand the essence of your message–and, you did such a great job of communicating how you feel, what you are going through…and, the upside of being a highly sensitive and awesome soul. I have the utmost respect for you, and I am applauding you right now! You are a light and a blessing…thanks for sharing 🙂

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  5. Wow, such a great post, and such an honest and open post. You always sound so upbeat in your comments, it saddens me to think that you are suffering and going through all of this. I really hope you’re doing ok, and to copy your terminology(!)- I send you loads and loads of love and light. Reading your post was eerily familiar in places… saying I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine… And this statement, “I needed to slow down! I have always needed to slow down, put less pressure on myself, be less perfect… ” this seems to sum up where I am right now tbh. I actually physically work on doing things slower, and just letting myself be, rather than always trying to live up to the expectations of some “judge” in my head..

    I have to say, I am always excruciatingly open about my diagnosis, and when I started the job I’m at now I told my manager everything. I think it meant that I was perhaps watched a little bit closer than perhaps might have been for the first month, but I just find it easier. Moreover, I vehemently refuse to be ashamed of my diagnosis, like you said in this post, it just means that my mind is wired slightly different from some peoples, and makes me massively creative and able to think outside of the box. I see these positives as more important than any bs negative symptoms. Moreover, I think most people are quite sympathetic, if you act in a matter of fact way which almost leaves no space for pity or judgement. But I think I have been very lucky to have had more positive experiences with people than negative ones. Anyway- hope it all goes well for you there, and that you start to feel more of a connection with people! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you. PMDD will bring you to unknown depths when it strikes but luckily due to my lack of eggs I doubt I will endure too many more serious episode just ‘normal’ cases of the blues which I can live with.

      I’m glad you find me upbeat, I am always smiling and hopefully positive. I guess it is acceptance, I did not want to face my infertility for so many years which made things worse. After I was hospitalised I didn’t know who knew or who didn’t and I could’ve driven myself further into ‘madness’ worrying about it so I decided to accept who I am and carry on … this is me carrying on. I sometimes wonder what this blog is about but it must be just that, me carrying on and trying to make sense of the things in my head 🙃

      I am happy that you can relate, I once thought I was the only person in the world with endless noise in their head and wondering when it would stop. Nothing I did made it stop until I stopped. I don’t want anyone to be alone feeling the same so here is my little effort to share experience.

      I have been in the darkness, I have been in the light and now I am happy to have both and no matter what I will keep writing so you please do the same 🌟

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes.. I’m struggling ups and downs atm. I’m fine, and actually really good.. until I’m not, and then i’m still so crazy it scares me. My boyfriend is absolutely incredible, and I know I can always cry/rant etc to him.. I guess I just don’t always want to feel like this invalid you know? I’m always prided myself on being strong, and it’s like things which are happening atm are undermining that. In fact they usually seem to undermine everything. A part of me is still trying to rationalise it, or make sense of it.. but I know this isn’t useful! Lol, not everything can be rationalised. I really like your last paragraph- I have been in the darkness, I have been in the light and now I am happy to have both and no matter what I will keep writing so you please do the same. I just need to keep my head above water in the dark times, and have faith in myself and my own ability to do the right things. Thanks for being a friend, and I so hope things stay calm and peaceful for you as well xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • If you can give in, give in. Things are never as bad as we think. You may want to keep a fingertips grip on reality/sanity/recovery but your mind may not want you to – it doesn’t sound like it so give in and see what happens. More likely you will learn a new way of being, a more relaxed way that you cannot learn until you let go, give in and go with the flow.
        It is such a slow and steady road to recovery but one that you sound confidently on. Having support is incredible so embrace it and do not feel bad. People come into our lives to help and enhance and we are stronger for it, we do not always realise when we are giving to others but we always do. I’m sure your partner gets as much from you as you him.

        Have a fabulous weekend, be happy to be up and down because it’s interesting, we have very interesting lives 😎

        Like

  6. Also, do you mind if I reblog this post? I want to do my own “Hello, I have mental illness” post, as think it’s a really good title!.. I’ve been really distant from wordpress for the last little while- probably because of starting job- but really want to get back into the swing of it, and think this might be a really nice way. Anyway, hope this is ok! Take care! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on A mad new world and commented:
    This is a post from a brilliant writer and expresser of all things strange and wonderfully mentally ill.. I think her honesty is moving, and she has inspired me to write my own “Hello, I have a mental illness” series; or at least one similarly themed post. I have been out of the WordPress loop for quite a while, and reading this has made me want to jump back in at the deep end.

    Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

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