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The Trouble With Me
Posted by LeMat
24th Sep 2011

I've spent a lot of my life being the square peg in the round hole - in fact it's only recently that I've realised it's been far more often than I ever thought. For years I thought everybody thought like I did - they just, like me, never admitted it.

I started off as an anorexic for a couple of years at seventeen, and then, after some traumatic experiences at nineteen, had graduated to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Dissociative Disorder by the time I hit my twenties (although it's arguable that I may have had the Dissociative Disorder long before then, just not yet diagnosed.) It was these last two maladies that contributed to my complete nervous breakdown at the age of twenty-five, which meant I was admitted as an outpatient in the psychiatric department of my (then) local hospital. It was an experience that changed both my life and me.

The 'me' that came out of that hospital some eleven months later was not the same 'me' that went in, that's for sure. I wasn't 'cured' (according to all the stuff I've read, PTSD and Dissociative Disorder is for life, not just for Christmas) but I was a very different person in lots of ways. I'm also not claiming to be any kind of success story - if I did that I'd be lying, as I've certainly had the occasional 'crash to desktop' in the years that have followed, and will probably continue to do so as and when my stress levels build up to bad-american-soap-opera proportions. As a result, this blog will not be relentlessly self-help-book positive - but on the other hand, I'm hoping it won't read like a catalogue of never-ending misery either. Contrary to what people who've never experienced mental health problems often believe, we are allowed to be happy sometimes, even when we're officially classed as 'mentally ill.' Heck, sometimes the nurses even let us laugh for a bit...

...Which brings me neatly on to my next point. I suppose I'd better be upfront about this; I WILL be using humour in this blog occasionally. Well okay then, probably a lot. It will be a little on the dark side perhaps, but never nasty or mocking of anyone but myself. It's how I got through all the bad stuff in my past, it's still how I get through bad stuff and it'll probably be how I get through it in the future as well. I'd personally like to dispel this myth that people who have or have had mental health issues must be wearing their *sadface* 24/7 or they're not doing it properly; that kind of dedication to misery can be pretty exhausting, and if there's one thing I haven't got a lot of when I'm 'down' it's energy.

So, if the idea of me laughing at myself and my head issues from time to time offends anyone... well, all I can do is apologise. It works for me, that's all I can offer in my defence. If it doesn't work for you... well, you can't say I didn't give you a heads-up, can you?

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