I was reminded this morning of how I used to be, people who know you “from before” a brain blip tend to send your mind right back, to “another” you.
I recalled how reluctant I was to say that I was ill, how I backpeddled from treatment, how I refused medication for my OCD/PTSD for around six months and how when it all looks gloomy the thought of defining the sadness with big medical terms is enough to depress you – when you’re already depressed!
Here’s a news flash for anyone who feels like this at the moment:
I only started to heal when I got treatment, accepted the diagnosis, cried my eyes out (I put them back in) and then took meds – only 60mg in my case – but my long suffering therapist thought she’d have trouble even getting me to take 5mg of anything!
Therapy does make you better, I know it’s a long road and sometimes it seems neverending, but enjoy the moments in which you claim YOU back and can review the past with a knowledgable smile and gratitude that thanks to experts and rebalancing a chemical imbalance your life is yours.
Sure, it will be different, you will be stronger – no one goes through a mental health crisis without learning who they truly are – but that, in its own way is empowering. Cool, huh?!
Don’t let the bad guys steal your life, get help and the future opens up like a rose bud.
If anyone is down today I recommend this: Thanks Jo:-)
It’s Monday, fancy a superduper fabulously brilliant pep talk/great idea?
Excellent! Have a read of this…Pretty please with a cherry on top!
Think serious, think goal for the week/month/year/millenium.
I’ve just been reading an article about women who have chosen not to have children, not because they are horrible people with no compassion but they just don’t feel maternal and so feel it would be worse for them to bring a child in to the world that they don’t really really want than to conform with the status quo and procreate. One of the women pointed out something that I instantly related back to mental health although the two matters are entirely different. Bear with me, it’ll make sense.
She commented that a girl could get pregnant legally at 16 but not having children was not the traditional expectation, NOT having a child was somehow unacceptable and deeply frowned upon.
In the world of health and illness I would say that there are things which are considered more acceptable and others less so. Imagine “I’ve got diabetes” versus “I’ve got depression.”
Chances are that diabetes will get a sympathetic smile, a question like, “do you take insulin?” or “how does it affect your diet?” and the chemical defect in the body will be “acceptable.”
Now, let’s look at “I’ve got depression.”
Possible comments are “Buck up/Perk up/Snap out of it.” “What’ve you got to be depressed about?” “Oh yeah, I was ****ed of last Tuesday.” or “Are you on happy pills?” All accompanied by a wary or dismissive look or gesture.
Loud and clear a message is sent back to the unfortunate sufferer: “Depression = Not acceptable.”
Hmm, that’s not fair.
It took me far too long to accept that depression is also a chemical imbalance, there is no real difference between the two illnesses if you take them back to the words chemical imbalance. Insulin is seen as necessary medication to live a normal and rewarding life, anti depressants are given a derisive name “happy pills.”
So a person with depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD etc. is classed as what? Weak? Lacking? hey, that’s YOUR BAD not the sufferer’s. They can quite easily feel weak, swamped, like they are deficient, alone and fighting themselves and the world’s stigma so they really don’t need any additional unhelpful comments.
BTW: Yes, sufferers know that you think you’ll say something wrong and we’ll burst in to tears so you subtly avoid them/the subject but please be brave, you don’t have to hold a psychology degree to help…how’s about these comments plus a smidgen of your precious time instead:
“Do you need to talk?”
“Can I help?”
“I’m here for you.”
“Remember, it’s an illness nothing to feel bad about.”
“You are 100% NOT WEAK. It’s a chemical thing.”
“Don’t be ashamed, the medication will make you feel more like you.”
As a sufferer even knowing that you aren’t alone can feel like a miracle when your brain seems to be working against you.
So, if there is someone around you who is suffering from a mental illness they may just need to know that you’re on their team not chief judge, jury and executioner of any of their remaining self esteem. Reach out, a small gesture moves mountains.
Alone is a lonely place, everyone knows that! Give someone a hug, give their brain a friendly smile and not an unfortunate comment.
We all know that stigma can be overcome, please be a someone who does that rather than a someone who helps to build the crappy stigma pile up to the sky.
Have a fab week.
Nelson Mandela: “Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.”
I know I’ve taken the quote out of context for this poem but he was right!
Freedom is not always a matter of physical locks
Imprisonment is a question of the mind too
When my brain housed invisible locks and rocked
I was told a fact my belief system once refused
I laughed gently, scared, not truly meaning to mock
“The psychological response to emotional abuse
Is roughly the same as a prisoner of war’s.” That left me shocked
But I conceded defeat and accepted this news
I was, am, the untrained, expertise was not mine to knock
I had believed that I had no right to my fear and blues
I now believe that Post Traumatic is indeed a shock
But I’m happy to say I’ve been paying my dues
And memory by memory, my mind’s key is nearing the lock
Freedom is on its way and freedom is the path I choose.
I hope that everyone, all 6.5 billion plus of us on Planet Earth finds, loves and enjoys freedom mentally, spiritually and physically. Fingers crossed, toes crossed, eyes crossed…
Whilst reading and editing my next book and pootling about in desktop files (as you do) I’ve found this poem that I wrote about PTSD and freedom and I decided to share it.
Oh yeah, and please make it a mission to make someone smile, go on, you know you want to!
Hope you’re enjoying your day.
I’ve had a great few weeks of writing and some fab progress with the O.C.D/P.T.S.D. treament.
I now have a series of quiz books on Amazon and one of my children’s stories is waiting to go live.
My poetry is getting very kind feedback.
And we’ll just ignore the pesky rejection e-mails from magazine editors who aren’t feeling the love for my work this last week or so!
And the O.C.D/P.T.S.D progress? You know the multi soaping/multi hand washing thing that OCD’ers do to feel safe?
I have (thank God) managed to reduce that by over half in the last three weeks…that frees me up to do important things like writing! My time is my own not my wonky brain cell’s. YAY!!!!
Keep smiling, stay happy and remember you only get this day once!