Sunday, 1 February 2015

Mental Illness - Blame

Since writing my post about depression I wondered about posting another one. I wanted to, I wanted to allow myself to be a part of the support system for those struggling alongside me, I wanted to create a sense of togetherness, the message that no matter how isolating mental illness is, and no matter how hard it might be for someone to grasp the exact specifics of what you're going through - you truly aren't alone. I talked to some other bloggers (Rhianna and Rachel,who have been endlessly supportive since my first post) about the idea of writing more posts on it, spreading awareness, about people talking openly about what it was really like to suffer from mental illness - I was keen, and also worried. I worried people would think I was going on about it, would find it boring, would immediately unfollow me. I have literally been more worried about writing about mental illness than I ever have been about writing about controversial topics, or my sex life.

Alexander Graham Bell Quote
(source)

Some days I spend hours of my day worrying about the fact that I am all too aware that people find me frustrating to be around. The few friends I still have left have to deal with meltdowns, sob sessions and complete radio silence from me on a weekly, if not semi-daily basis - and I can't escape how annoying that must be for other people (hence the radio silence, when I feel like I'm taking up too much time, or space, or sucking all the happiness from people's lives dementor style). In my head all of these people wish that I would zip it, paint on a smile and at least try to be better. Some people don't understand that it isn't that easy. If it seems like I've let my depression take over my life? That's because I have to deal with it; every minute of every day. It's not as easy as waking up on a good or bad day and dealing with it accordingly, even good days can feel like I'm drowning, only the air is staying in my lungs that little bit longer, everything isn't quite blurring and blackening at the edges just yet - but it's right there on the horizon.

When I was diagnosed, it wasn't a relief, it was heart wrenching. Being diagnosed with a mental illness is like being told that other people don't think the same way that you do, even though you've always just assumed that they do. It's like being told that your brain is wired differently, even though sometimes you may not have a reason why. I didn't have a reason why, it led to a really difficult downward spiral of blaming myself, utter self loathing and destroying the very little self worth that I had left. I blamed myself for my depression without really understanding where it came from, I made myself more ill by managing to convince myself that I had made this up, that this depression was something I wasn't really suffering from. I still feel a lot like this now, even on days when I stay in bed under the covers, even on days where I cry for no reason, even on days when I only manage four hours sleep - the blame and denial is a part of my illness, as well as being an aspect that makes it a lot harder to deal with.

It is hard to fight a war in your own head and not blame yourself for what seems like a lack of basic armor. It's hard to fight a war that is invisible and silent to other people, a war with no news coverage, a war that - no matter how many words you find that sum it up perfectly for you - some people will never understand. That in itself is amazing, that some people don't understand. A part of me hopes that most of you reading this never understand. A part of me hopes that you find me frustrating, a part of me hopes that you're inwardly sighing about how I'm going on about this - because it means that you've never felt the way that some of us have to. I hope in a way that you never come to understand it, that you always manage to stay in that naive head space, whilst being supportive to our suffering of course, because that's exactly where I wish I was. However, I'm not in that head space - and I'm going to go on about it. I'm going to post on here until I have no followers left if that's what it takes, I'm going to scream about it in the streets until I lose my voice, I am going to take every single opportunity to talk about mental illness, and my experience - because if it helps just one person going through this alongside me feel less alone, it will all have been worth it. 

I am not to blame for my mental illness - we are not to blame for our mental illnesses.

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: Mental Health - We're Facing Enough

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