Life

MENTAL ILLNESS

I’ve spoken about my mental illness on my blog before, but I’ve always kept it quite brief.

2015 was probably the worst year of my life. I spent most of my days feeling so tired and worn out even though I had done nothing all day. I left my house around 25 times during daylight hours. I wouldn’t usually fall asleep until five or six in the morning.  And when I would finally force myself into bed, thousands of thoughts would be racing through my mind leaving me restless, confused and upset.

I’ve lived with depression and anxiety since I was around nine years old and it’s something that is becoming increasingly more difficult to deal with as each year passes. I’ve been on medication, I’ve seen a number of doctors and attended therapy over the years but I have personally never seen any benefits or improvements in myself.
Throughout the past twelve months, I’ve not had any help from doctors. I’ve booked appointments, but when the day has come I’ve been too anxious to leave my house.

Sometimes, on very rare good days, I can leave my house to go into a public place. It’s never an easy thing to do and I’m always so proud of myself afterwards.
On a day that isn’t so good, the thought of leaving the house is one of the worst feelings in the world and it kills me inside. I can end up with nightmares that last for days, I get the shakes and feel like I’m going to die. It’s not unusual for my brain to completely render useless, I won’t register anything anyone is saying and I won’t be capable of a simple thing like speaking. Sometimes I can’t even take a step forward because I freeze and physically can not make myself move. It’s one of the worst feelings to not be in control of your body.

When my partner tried to get a doctor to visit me at home, he was told because my illness isn’t physical that they can not come and see me. That’s shit, it’s extremely shit. And it does make you feel worthless.

I think because I’m in such a bad place and I’ve had so much help which has failed, I’ve kind of given up on myself. It’s easier to give in to depression and anxiety when the battle you are constantly fighting in your mind is one of the most punishing, humiliating and painful things in the world.

I do think it’s very important to seek help. I think it is vital to see someone if you are struggling. There are many understanding doctors out there who may be able to help you and offer you the support you need. I’m just struggling to find the strength to visit the doctor  at the moment, but as soon as I find going into public spaces easier, I will be going to visit my doctor to see what else they can offer me.

I wouldn’t describe my day-to-day life as unpleasant or bad. I have a very supportive partner, a roof over my head and enough money to live comfortably and get by each month. But I can’t even begin to express how exhausting it is to live with a mental illness that haunts you every single second of every day. It’s horrendous to wake up each day feeling like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. It’s torture to be in your kitchen doing something ordinary, like washing up the dishes and then see a knife and have your mind focus on nothing but the thought of running the blade across your throat so you can leave this world. It’s hellish feeling like you’re nothing but a burden to the people around you. It’s painful to be looked down upon because you  have a mental illness, to be called lazy and weak because you can’t hold down a job or fill your days with exciting activities. It does make you feel sad when things like taking a shower and making an effort with your appearance are the biggest achievements of your week.

I know I wouldn’t be here without my partner of 7 years. I am so happy with him and I’d describe the love in our relationship as extraordinary. But as I read somewhere else once, depression doesn’t care how happy we are, depression doesn’t care about how much he loves me. Depression doesn’t care when he tells me it is all going to be ok in the end. It’s possible to be happy in a relationship while you’re living with depression, but depression is just always there and love is not a cure. I do sometimes wonder if I should just leave the world because I do feel like such a burden in our relationship. I know that he could live life with somebody else who could do so much more with him than I am capable of. It isn’t easy for my partner to see me like this each day and I do feel guilty that my illness holds him back. But I know he supports me and I know that he loves me and each day he gives me the strength to get out of bed and survive. I guess in a way, it is a battle we both fight. I’m just grateful to have his support. I know what we have is special and rare and neither of us will ever give up on that. It’s important to remember that the people who love you don’t see you the way you see yourself.

I’m not looking for a pity party from posting this blos post. I’m sick and I’m tired of seeing the stigma around mental illness. I am not ashamed of who I am and I am not ashamed of my illness and I wanted to share a small part of my story. I want others who feel similar to know they are not alone. I understand, and I care. You’re not crazy, you are human and you’re just unwell. Your mind probably tells you that you don’t matter, but you do matter.

SUPPORT: If you are looking for support, please feel free to drop me a message. I’m always happy to listen and offer a virtual hug. You’ll also find support online from a simple Google search. You can find forums, phonelines and websites where you can share your feelings and get some things off your chest with people who feel similar.

If you’re feeling suicidal please contact the Samaritans: http://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us you can phone, email or write to them.
My therapist once told me that “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” and it’s something that has always stuck in my head. I hope you keep on fighting because you are worth it and you deserve to live. Please take care of yourself.

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