So I just thought I would write a little update. I have been trying to finish a couple of other blogs that I am in the middle of writing that are on different subjects, but the words are just not coming. I think it is maybe that I am so deep in managing my current situation right now that it is not allowing me the head space for much else. I guess that is the nature of the beast when dealing with mental illness. It is all-consuming.
I do also feel it is important to me to keep writing about my journey. Not only because one day I am hoping to look back on this from my dizzy heights of happiness and success and feel proud of how far I have come, but also because I know how much comfort I take from reading about other people’s experiences. Knowing that someone else , somewhere in the world is fighting the same battle as you and having the same thoughts can bring some comfort to what is for the most part, a very isolating place.
With that in mind , I just wanted to share a bit about how I am feeling now. It has been three weeks since ‘that day’. Since I was forced to admit that I could no longer manage this situation alone and I could no longer keep hoping it was going to go away. I put the wheels in motion to get some help and I was able to take some time off work to rest and attempt to get my mind into a more manageable state.
In the immediate days that followed, I did feel better, I felt more positive about things I guess it was like the lifting the lid of a Pressure Cooker, there had been an explosion of emotion and everything was put on pause. As the days progressed and the adrenaline wore off , my mood started to change again. I knew that things were only temporarily on pause and that I would have to get back on the hamster wheel eventually.
So now I am back, back to work, back to the routine, back to trying to solve the problems that I still have not gone anywhere or become any clearer. Back to the same situation that has put me in THIS situation only now I feel I have one less option on the table.
What I am about to say will probably sound crazy, but if I am to write these blogs and share my journey. I cannot be half-hearted in doing so. It is only right that I do it with authenticity.
I say now I feel like I have one less option on the table , because that is a thought that ran through my head when I was out walking just a few days ago getting frustrated with myself again. You see three weeks ago, I was 98% sure that the only way out of this mess was taking my own life, that to me was an option. It was pretty much looking to me , like it was my only option. I realise now it wasn’t, it isn’t, nor should it ever feel like that for anyone but it is an unfortunate and very real situation that a lot of people suffering with depression find themselves in.
Thank goodness I am thinking with more clarity now, and thankfully was given the blessing of having the realisation that sadly so very many people don’t get chance of having, but I would be lying if I said that in that moment, on my walk , I didn’t feel a sense of frustration that actually now I have one less option, and now I really am back to the drawing board, and right there, in that moment, I felt a deep sense of resentment about it.
I wanted to write about feeling like that because I think it is important to recognise and acknowledge all of the emotions and feelings on this rollercoaster journey of which there are many , sadness, frustration, panic, anxiety, helplessness, resentment, fear. They are all as valid as one another , and all perfectly normal. Some people may feel embarrassed by it, it may make some people feel uncomfortable, but I, like many other people struggling with mental illness don’t have the luxury of standing on the sidelines feeling a bit uncomfortable, we are muddling through trying to work it out as we go, as best we can.
This is consuming every part of my life and writing openly about it is helping me to overcome some of the negative feelings I have towards myself which I need to try to come to terms with. The main one being a massive sense of failure, and the only time I don’t feel that is when I am writing, so for those of you wondering why I am choosing to put such personal and private things out there for the world to see, there you have it.
I can honestly say this is the hardest puzzle I have ever had to solve. I feel like I have been running around trying to find my way out of this maze for 12 months now. There have been periods of time where I have been full of energy and motivation and I run as fast as I can through the winding pathways, full of hope and determination that this door is going to lead me back to where I belong, both geographically and emotionally, but each time I reach a dead-end, I get knocked back, and then I run out of steam and become consumed with exhaustion and defeat. It seems my ‘bouncebackability’ isn’t what it was in my 20’s. If this had happened in my 20’s I would have …well what goes on in the 20’s stays in the 20’s but thinking of that girl just made me smile, cringe, laugh and despair all at the same time.
One of the questions I have been getting asked lately is ‘Are you feeling better?’. Of course it is only natural that people should want to ask that, and my automatic response has been ‘Yes a little bit, thank you’. Which is all very British of me. In fact the truth is , I don’t know if I am or not. I know I am feeling calmer, but now I am also feeling a level of expectation to feel a bit better, so am I actually feeling better?, or am I feeling better to try to make everyone else feel better. Confused!?… you’re not the only one!.
So onwards we go, which makes me sound like I am marching , when really I feel like I am flailing around trying to grasp something, but lets pretend I am marching. Lets pretend we are all marching forward and if we start flailing we can grasp on to each other. To anyone reading this feeling alone with your thoughts. You are not alone, most of us with a mental illness are having those thoughts, it is nothing to be embarrased or ashamed of, its part of the process, its part of getting better. Hang in there and lets do this together.
This is a picture of me wearing a green ribbon pin that I got from http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk , all of the proceeds go towards the vital work they do on finding and addressing the sources of mental health problems and this green ribbon is the international symbol for mental health awareness. I wear it to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of mental health for all.
Lots of Love, Lyndsey