I think one of the biggest ‘symptoms’ of anyone suffering from mental health issues is frustration! Complete and utter exasperation and frustration at the lack of understanding. I wrote about this a couple of years ago in my blog Reactions to Mental Illness.
Over the years I’ve found it quite difficult to articulate the ways I feel and how I think. It’s taken years of seeing doctors, going to counselling and therapy to help me better understand so that I can explain to those around me. Since starting this blog 2 years ago, I have been able to talk about a lot. I’ve gone into detail about my past, my triggers, my ways of thinking, and just how I generally am.
Being able to write a blog on mental health, going to counselling, and admitting I have a problem, doesn’t cure me. It doesn’t mean I’m better all of a sudden. So far from it. All it means is that I’m taking my baby steps towards trying to feel better. Also, there is no guarantee that I ever will be ‘normal’, just a chance, with the right help and a lot of hard work from me to change my way of thinking.
I’m sure that everyone can agree that I’ve come on quite a bit in the last year. This time last year I really wasn’t seeing much point in getting up in the mornings. I was struggling. I’m not nearly that bad now, however, I still have some horrible glaring problems.
Paranoia – My paranoia is through the roof. I’m trusting no-one just now. For instance; I’ve managed to convince myself that everyone around will do me harm. I’m scared that my food/drink is tampered with. So much so I will not accept a drink from anyone else, I’m having to rinse my cup/glass 3 times before every use, even if I was the last person to use it. I would definitely not leave food/drink unattended. If that happens, it goes in the bin or down the sink! This is just one of my issues with regards to being paranoid.
FP Issues – Since I’ve become aware of this, and identified I have this problem, I’ve obsessed about it. I’m overthinking everything and I’m scrutinising even more than normal. I’m aware of what I’m doing, how needy I am etc, and I’m trying soooo hard to rein it in, but I’m failing. This is causing me to self-loath. I am googling so many different things regarding FP’s in a bid to find a way to just stop it, and you know what? There is NOTHING. There are plenty forums, blogs, questions etc regarding wanting to stop having an FP, but not one single solution. Just speculation. What the funk? This alone is frustrating me.
OCD – My paranoia is bringing about a whole new range of OCD. It’s maddening. Every time I have to check something 4 times to be sure that the first 3 checks were not bogus, or when rinsing my cup for the 3rd time, I actually sigh to myself. I shake my head and tell myself I’m being ridiculous. I even challenge myself to only check something twice the next time, or rinse my cup once, but I can’t do it. I literally can’t do it.
Depression/Sadness – I’ve not been feeling quite as depressed as I usually do. I think this is because we’ve moved house (yes again!) and this one feels so much more homely. I feel, not content, I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that, but I feel safer here! Hmmm I’m not even sure safe is the right word. Lets just leave it at, I feel better here. I’m still feeling very sad though. Crying daily still. Sometimes my triggers are justified, like thinking about my Cat, Theo, who died. Some of you may be thinking “it was just a cat!”, and you couldn’t be more wrong. Theo was my fluffy baby (yup, he responded to this!), he was more than just a pet! I would sit with him every morning, with a coffee, telling him my woes. He was definitely an FP (Favourite Pet), I was emotionally dependent on him, and not having him completely breaks my heart. Again, you may be reading this thinking it’s ridiculous, and to you it may be, and that’s cool. I get most people won’t get it. Other times I’m sobbing at adverts on the TV, or the most common one is having flash backs. The house we’ve moved to, is right next to where I grew up. I’m quite literally surrounded by old haunts and memories. A lot has been coming back to me, or making me dredge up old feelings/thoughts, and that has been both good and bad. My tears have been bitter sweet for these thoughts.
Anxiety – My anxiety has been through the roof of late! Naturally my paranoia is not helping this at all. Then there is moving home, that brings about a normal level of anxiety, but throw into the mix Christmas and then the Flu, it has been very high!
Recently I was asked “Yeah but I thought you were better now?”. That question has really pissed me off. This person didn’t ask me to be horrible, they asked without thinking. They asked without taking stock of all the issues I have, and the fact that I cannot just be cured overnight. They’ve asked this question, as though I’m choosing to still have on going problems. Like anyone sits at home and thinks “Well today is shaping up to be quite boring, lets start being paranoid, or no, wait, lets ramp it up until we’re anxious”. Unfortunately, we live in a world where everyone thinks they know just how easy things are, with having absolutely no experience or remote comprehension. I have most recently been diagnosed with EUPD/BPD, I have an appointment on Monday where I’m to be assessed further to see if I also have Bipolar. Not instead of EUPD/BPD, but as well as. I don’t want to be this way. I do NOT choose to be this way. No-one in the world would ever want to feel how I feel.
Just because I smile doesn’t mean I’m happy! Just because I laugh, doesn’t mean I’m better, or cured. And just because I’ve been able to recognise some of the issues I have, and I’m looking to work towards making better choices, doesn’t mean the magic wand has been waved.
One thing I have noticed with reading a lot of other blogs on mental health, especially reddit posts, is that people who have to put up with people like me are fed up. They’re annoyed with having to hear the same old shit on repeat. They’re tired and just want us to hurry up and be ‘normal’ already. Well you know what? sorry, doesn’t work that way. I am hard work. I am tiring. I am on the same old shitty merry-go-round that I have been for years, spouting the same shite about how I am, but however tired you think you are of watching me self-destruct, you are not even close to being how tired I am. The difference between you and I though, is you have a choice. You can choose to not be around, and you can choose to not listen, and to not deal with it. I can’t.
I am working very hard every day to maintain a healthy thought process, to try and keep my paranoia at bay (and failing spectacularly), to not let my anxiety overwhelm me, to curb my OCD, to try and find a healthy way to deal with personal relationships, to not cry and maintain a smile, to not procrastinate my day away……There is so much I’m aware of, always consciously thinking about, and in between all of this I’m maintaining a job, marriage, kids, drama and just general life!
All I would ask at this point is for you all to give me a break! A break with a lot of understanding for how hard I’m trying over here. I’ve said it before, if mental illness had physical symptoms, we’d get a helluva lot more understanding than we do. You would be able to empathise with our struggles more, but you can’t. You just don’t get it. So, you know what, see if you don’t get it, just don’t say anything? Maybe try not to offer an opinion, or even start a discussion asking how I am. When we both know that you don’t really care for the answer unless it’s “I’m better”.