Sometimes the world seems like an achingly painful place to be. Everyone seems to have a purpose and rushes around fulfilling that reason for living. Whether its a job, being a mother, daughter, husband, son, aunt or uncle. Life has a meaning.
When you’re unwell mentally this purpose evades consciousness and it’s replaced with an overwhelming feeling or worthlessness, of being a failure and a lost cause. I don’t believe that life is perfect for anyone and I know there are obstacles and moments of doubt which have to be dealt with. It would be foolish to think otherwise.
I’ve also become acutely aware that any mental illness is a very individual, personal experience. There are of course common themes and similar experiences, but none of us experience things exactly the same. We can attempt to empathise and offer comfort but we can’t see, feel, hear or think like each other. I think that it is this individuality which makes mental illness feel like such an isolating and lonely experience.
For weeks now my general mood has been fairly down and low. It has been increasingly difficult to determine what I am thinking and feeling. I can’t quite figure out what’s making me feel this way and try as I might I can’t lift myself up. I feel weighted down much of the time which just makes me tired and depressed.
There’s a part of me which wants to socialise and laugh, to embrace the opportunities I have and to feel motivated. Instead I feel this intense need to withdraw myself, to hide myself away and just shut everything else out.
I feel frustrated by how slow the community mental health team moves in providing support and help when it is urgently needed. Insomnia is well known to destabilise even the healthiest of minds, so when it’s messing with the life of someone already fighting mental illness, why does it take so long for something to be done? My mental stability is wavering on the edge of a giant abyss and I am terrified that I am going to slip any time.
The problem is that so many people who work in medicine or mental health don’t empathise or truly understand the debilating effects of mental illness on a persons life. I may be being unfair, but my experience so far is that all these ‘professionals’ have knowledge gained from text books and stupid letters after their names, but how many have real experience? Have had to fight their own head daily for months or years? If they did then perhaps they would be quicker to react and give someone the support they need before it becomes more serious.
In the UK there are campaigns to raise awareness and end the stigma of mental illness. There’s increased awareness of depression, anxiety, eating disorders and thanks to some famous faces bipolar. There’s more information about suicidal thoughts and how to help. But still there’s a giant fucking hole where there is still ignorance.
Funding is desperately inadequate and the NHS provides a limited range of therapies such as CBT, dbt and brief psychological interventions. But once you have completed these then what? Fucking nothing…. Just pills, if you get an appointment….Every time I have had to go back to see the psychiatrist for a medication review the skills that have been taught via Cbt or dbt get drudged up. If you’re having a hard time then you get asked if you’re doing the things such as mindfulness, sleep hygiene, distracting, distancing etc. It’s like a one size fits all and woe betide you if you’re not doing them. It becomes your fault if you’re struggling. You’re not trying hard enough, you’ve been given all the answes so fucking use them. It’s a joke. If you spend too much time distancing or distracting then you’re advoiding which is a bad thing.
For someone with BPD, medications can do little to help. They help mainly with anxiety, depression, mood stability and sleep issues. Personally I get fed up of hearing about mindfulness and sleep hygiene. These are not new ways of thinking, they are old, taken from Buddhism and other ancient ways of meditation and relaxation. I try to do all the things that I’m supposed to do, but there is a time when it gets beyond my abilities to cope.
Attending therapy weekly does help, far more than I could have ever imagined. But even my therapist is of the opinion that we have reached the limit of what can be done without the aid of medication. It was so hard to get a gp appointment my therapist wrote two letters to make sure I got the help I needed. This was back in November and December. Now nearly in February and still I have not got the help I desperately need.
I’m so very, very tired. I’m tired of watching my life pass me by. I’m fed up of working so hard to get stable only for it to all blow up in my face and then have to wait for months and months before I get any help.
Tonight I am awake as all my family are snuggled up in their beds getting the sleep they need in order to have a productive day. I am sat alone downstairs wishing away the hours so that I can perhaps sleep. My days blur into each other, I am mentally disorientated most of the time, i feel like i am a total failure. I am emotional and nothing really makes much sense right now.
Being mentally unwell is not something I would wish on anyone, it’s soul destroying and worse than any prison sentence. It’s a living nightmare and without the right help and support it only gets worse.