The cruelty of mental illness

Everyday I wake up in the hope that the past was just a horrible dream. That the insidious feelings of depression and anxiety will have left my head. That my mood will be stable, that I will feel secure, happy, motivated and content. Everyday I hope that life will feel worth living and that it won’t just be a battle of survival. 

For as long as I can recollect that day has never arrived. 

Sure, there have been wonderful happy days which were real. The days my children were born, the day my divorce from my first husband came through, getting married to my hubby, finishing an access course with a distinction and getting into uni twice since. These were good things and I know this. 

Today is one of those days to celebrate. It’s my sons tenth birthday and I feel so proud of him. He has his moments when he’s not easy, but he’s a beautiful loving little boy and I love him very much. Ten years ago, I was in early stages of labour. In a little under ten hours I thought I had lost him. He had the cord around his neck and was blue. He made no sound. I remember the fear and the desolation i felt. He was so tiny and vulnerable and I wanted nothing more than for him to breathe so that I could hold him, love him and protect him. That first teeny sound he made was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. 

He was a fragile little thing for a long time, but now is a healthy strong boy. But one thing I have noticed is that he’s emotional like me. I hope desperately that he’s not going to be anything like me. 

Yesterday morning I was woken by my son to tell me his sister was still asleep. I told him to wake her. She was going to miss her bus so i took her. I was groggy from the tablets I took the night before but the freezing temperature outside soon had me awake. 

Once i got home i decided to make a hot water bottle and get back to bed. I only planned to snooze but I ended up sleeping all the way through until 3.15pm. The dreams I had woke me feeling disturbed and scared. 

I wasted the entire day and felt shit. My head pounded, my heart was racing and i felt disorientated. 

I want to wake up and not feel these things. For them not to consume me day and night. The crushing weight of depression and anxiety are debilitating and take so much energy to fight off. They zap everything good that they touch and leave you feeling like there is nothing good. 

Having a mental illness like bpd is soul destroying. Its like being in a constant whirlwind of thoughts and emotions that just race around and just never fucking stop. Sometimes i wonder what it would be like to be completely manic, to be so caught up in feeling good and invincible. It would be nice to not be stuck in this deep black hole with emotions up and down like an elevator. 

Currently my head feels like a minefield. I don’t know what’s going to set me off and which direction it’s going lead. I can be happy for a moment and then suddenly it’s all gone. The fake smile and fake laugh create resentment inside of me. I know that people plaster on a mask daily, I know it’s part and parcel of life. It’s not just the outside world I hide away from, but also from my friends and family and sometimes from myself. 

Sometimes I try to believe the lies that I tell people. Allowing them to think i am fine, that i am coping and managing with everything. But there is this large barrier that never allows me to cross. It never allows me to feel truly happy, to believe that I am worthy of love and security, that i can be successful and that people might actually like me. 

My depression threatens to ruin everything. My anxiety makes me feel terrified of going out on my own. The bpd has left me scared of my own fucking shadow, incapable of knowing what’s real or not emotionally and constantly questioning if my reaction is normal. 

I search for something, anything to make me feel better. To lift my spirits, to take away the ache I feel so deep inside. Nothing does. It’s all a waste of time, I know that. 

I don’t want to be mentally unwell. I DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO FIGHT EVERYDAY. I want to be something and do something with my life, but my fucking head gets in the way. No matter how hard I try, no matter how good things are in my life it’s not enough to vanquish the demons. 

Being mentally unwell is such a cruel thing to have to contend with. It’s not seen by others unless your behaviour is unusual, it’s misunderstood and judged by others. It feels shameful and weak to be constantly stuck in this no-mans-land. I feel ashamed that I can’t fight it all the time. That sometimes the darkness just comes in and takes over. I feel ashamed that I am a shell of a person. That who I want to be is under constant attack from myself, that my inability to deal with past traumas, to douse the flames of anxiety and drown out the darkness of depression, threatens to destroy all that I hold dear. 

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