You know what they say? Life’s a b****. Well, that’s never truer than when you are suffering every single day of your ￼life with mental health problems.
Something which is oft levelled at myself and other sufferers is ‘just pull yourself together’ or ‘why is it so difficult to do such and such?’
Now, i can’t speak for everyone else, but from my perspective, I spend every day – 24 hours per day,, 7 days per week, 52 weeks per year – fighting against this invisible illness, fighting against this pure evil crap which is constantly niggling away inside my head, trapped and eating away at my thoughts. You can fight and fight, but eventually you get tired of fighting. You’re worn out. That doesn’t mean you’re giving up necessarily. You just don’t have enough fight left to do what’s necessary to pick yourself up out of that rut.
So, it may appear that you’re not trying to help yourself, that you’ve given up or don’t want it enough. However, it’s just that you’re too tired.
I’ve personally been in such a rut very recently. I have been very down, my moods have hit rock bottom and have felt as if there was no way out. I wish I could report that that has changed, that I’ve come out the other side and am now on top of the world. Unfortunately that’s unrealistic to even hope for. My head has so many harmful and dangerous thoughts swirling around inside. As recently as last Friday I sat there in the bathroom contemplating what it would be like to end it all. That’s how my life rolls. It’s not pretty.
Aside from these extremely unwanted thoughts, my anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia has been getting so much worse of late. I had three consecutive days last week whereby I had panic attacks. They weren’t pleasant at all. They weren’t appreciated whatsoever. I had no idea how to stop the rot. This wasn’t even going out the house. Having panic attacks whilst doing general day-to-day activities within my own home. How do you even begin to understand the reason why?
Something happened at the weekend, though. Something quite random and has seemingly spurred me on. I was unexpectedly having to go out the house. It was a simple task really. I was just going out for a drive in the car – i’m the passenger so don’t even need to stress about that. Having said that, though, my stress levels were rocketing. I was feeling light-headed and was very close to backing out. However, i did go. Not through ‘forcing’ myself. Just decided to do it. So, it worked out. I settled down and was actually not too bad. It went very well. Definitely better than i had imagined.
It may seem like a simple thing, but that one instance seems to have sparked my confidence. I went out for a very very rare walk later that day. Nothing too fancy, far or long. However, it was more, so much more, than i’d done in a long long time. Again i felt good. The next day, a freezing cold morning, i woke up raring to go. I just wanted to get out, despite the cold, to pick up where i left off the day before.
Given this new sense of vigour, I’ve decided to put forth this new weekly column to give you a taste of what it’s like living with this illness and, hopefully, recovering from it. Maybe i’ll have some tips for fellow sufferers. Maybe you can give me tips. Maybe, just maybe, those who doubt will see this horrible illness for what it is.