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Mental Health has a life of its own.
Posted by AliceRitaK
31st Dec 2014

I've been reading the moving piece by Ruby Wax as she succumbs to her latest bout of depression. Despite her lack of energy and faith in herself she still manages to write a moving, articulate article on how it feels or doesn't feel to have the illness that she has.

I have been "well" for 8 years now, although each stage brings its own set of challenges as I learn to recover from the illness that took my joy all those years ago. There are people who understand what it is that I am going through and people that don't. I don't always understand it myself, sometimes with hindsight I see how my behaviours were not great and how this has affected my work and family relationships, although my close friendships and relationship with my children remains rock solid. It seems that love is stronger than this.

I can see how MH has a life of its own, since I am unaware of my symptoms sometimes. Sometimes I know what I am heading for and I reach out and ask for help. My latest round of CBT has been useful, while only being able to offer me 4 sessions focussing on behavioural activation, they have given me contacts that I can find useful in my working relationships and in my finances. I am grateful for that support.

At times I feel as if I am drowning and become despondent, yet I cannot take this to my co-workers, they don't and have no need to understand the intricacies and cunningness of my disease. Yet I still have feelings around this, I am a human being after all and sometimes it hurts.

At times like those I need to be gentle with myself, surround myself with people who treat me with respect and care. People who make me feel held as I "Fake it to Make it". Too much faking it and not enough making it I sometimes think, yet recovery is on my illness' terms and up to my Higher Power. To accept this and hand myself over to a force greater than myself is to treat myself well. It's liberating, to a degree. It's not the panacea to cure all ills. Nobody said it would be. Nobody can give me that guarantee, until medicine makes far greater advances and I'm hoping that will happen.

To share here is part of my healing, soul southing the angst that I can feel. You, on here understand. You know what it is that I am talking about. Your experiences may be unique in many aspects but "you know".

I will continue to fight to erase the stigma around mental health. I'm a good fighter. I don't give up the fight easily. I have principles that I am proud to voice now. I know my values. The greatest gift we have is our common humanity. Kindness not hatred should prevail.

I'm on my soap box now so I won't harp on about it. I am sad when my GP tells me of the cut backs in this area and the suffering this causes, people with Agoraphobia who have not been out of their houses in months and whom she cannot help because they are not ill enough, the referral would not get through the panel. Shame on this government for failing its people so.

Blogs such as these and shared experiences, campaigns, fundraising initiatives, community support are all ways of ensuring that those with mental illness have a voice. They are not bad, they do not deserve to be cast aside, they/I am just ill. Sometimes.

Happy New Year to you all. You are my tribe.
Good luck Ruby in your journey to wellness.

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