Letter From a Friend Raising Mental Health Awareness
Let me explain clearly – I have always been a person who swings both ways; I can be ultra happy and I can get those ultra sad moments. Someone who can experience extreme highs and extreme lows. Often in the short space of a day or less.
I remember shortly after I had my breakdown in early 2007, I visited a psychiatric hospital for an assessment. There, I voiced my concerns about my instability.
But I have always been one for self diagnosis. Never wanted to trouble others with my woes and there has been numerous times over the years I’ve turned to the search engine to help determine what’s wrong with me. Usually arriving at the conclusion that I’ll be dead within the hour! Always the drama queen!
Searching Google is always going to take you to the worst possible scenario. Just consider how many people post positive stories regarding illness and symptoms? Especially on those forums I’ve found myself scouring endlessly in the past. You find the odd happy tale but many of the writers are scared and full of multiple other health problems you never knew about that seem to chime with you.
Anyway back to my visit to the hospital
Discussing my mental health with the nurse and symptoms I was experiencing, I quickly mentioned Bipolar Disorder. Something I had read up on quite a lot. The nurse stated clearly she was certain I didn’t have it. You see I wasn’t displaying typical symptoms when I spoke or in my mannerisms. So, that was me told and instead, I was diagnosed with GAD Generalised Anxiety Disorder and depression. A medication plan was given to me and off I went with my diagnosis to the local pharmacy.
I got my new medication and once the side effects had passed, I noticed a positive change. I was happier, easy going, more energy. The heavy sad thoughts no longer suffocated me, my racing mind full of thoughts had slowed down and seemed to be manageable.
I felt good, I was moving forward. My pills were working and I felt like I was in a good place. Despite going through a difficult year with many events I was enjoying myself more than I had in a long time.
But now, I cant say that anymore. I just wish I had that strength now. Writing this letter to you now made me realise that it is a while since I was feeling good. Too long.
My energy has dropped – the last few months have been suffocating and my mind seems cluttered and difficult to focus. Back in the mindset I found myself before.
I am excited by virtually nothing, no desire to go out and meet people or go to the cinema (even though all the films might just be shit). Behind my face I feel like a shell.
I am not someone who is highly emotional – I do not cry. Possibly it is this solid mentality that puts me in this position. Unable to let the emotions let go of negative energies. Perhaps if I could let go I would feel better with myself?
If I could just say why I felt like this I might find a logical solution and move forward. But modern life does not seem logical. If I could create a check list of things to do or finish that would elevate me into a better mindset – I would love that. To get back on track.
Possibly it is myself – constantly attacking myself over little things day to day, sad memories I keep to close ready to dig them up when I am feeling low.
Possibly I need to get more fresh air and exercise more, eat less bad food. Stop looking in the mirror with too many questions. The way my skin resembles a rough sponge red and sore, too much acne from the stress I seem to carry. My wardrobe full of clothes that are too tight or old. Nothing seems to fit.
Beating myself up more
I could go on all day and create a list, or I could wake up in the morning and be grateful for my health, happy about my family, grateful for my job. With good friends near me that should be enough?
The tele tells me on every advert that it isnt enough. The tele tells me I need a better job, a new big TV and everything else. Maybe I should stop watching the tele? Is it having enough and being enough or not seeing what I do have? I can tell myself to get up and push forward.. But I have no energy to do that.
So again I will return to the doctor to see if they can give me a way forward. I had a difficult period this week and I am sure my doctor will love to hear about it all.
I should also bring up my medication with him, possibly I have built up an immunity to these pills so they don’t help me any more?
Such a waste of time it feels like to live like this, to feel like this. Everything is a battle. Exhausting. Defeating.
Can I start to see the good again. The friends I have near me. But it feels so lonely. Isolated and miserable.
I got up early today and it was sunny in the afternoon. Sitting by the river was quite peaceful, so maybe I should do that more often. I hope I wont be like this forever. I hope it’s just a short term setback. Possibly I can blow that dark cloud away and shake the demons from my hurt.
I could go on and on, there is a book in me somewhere but I doubt its the kind of book that people want to read. So I will go to the doctors and once again just try to be free.
A troubled voice from modern life. Wishing you much love.