Mental Health

They told me that 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with a mental health problem. I nodded.

They told me that depression is a serious illness, and you can’t just ‘snap out of it’. I nodded.

They told me that the stigma of mental health needed to be broken. I nodded.

And then mental health started swallowing the people closest to me, and suddenly nodding wasn’t enough any more. This was real, and nobody ever taught us how to cope with that.

I think, I calculated when drunk last night, that there’s around 10 people who I’m not sure I could live with out. I think half of them have an issue with mental health. Eating disorders, self harm, depression, and other variations much more complicated than I’m ever able to understand. Some days, even for me, it can be a battle of fear to get up. Im terrified of a slip that will mean I lose them forever. I’m worried about them, and I think about them all, every single day.

And then, in ways much much less serious than my friends, demons started swallowing me, too. I’ve never admitted that to myself before. I’ve never accepted that in my own little way, I’m not normal. But it’s true, and I’m very lucky that right now, my life is going very well for me! This past 6 months or so has been awesome.

But mental health, especially when it concerns those who you really care about, is scary. I wish I’d written this post when I thought of it. Last night’s panic wouldn’t have happened if not for the alcohol, and 100 meters of darkness. Last night’s panic wouldn’t have happened if I’d had written this post last week when I first thought of it. Last week, when one of my very good friends took an overdose, and tried to commit suicide.

It’s scary. It’s absolutely crushingly scary, but I carried on with awkward laughter through my last week at university. And then I realised that I also had a million deadlines, and I wonder why I’ve had a headache for a week!

I’m lucky to be able to say that it wasn’t the end. My best friend told me, a long long time ago, that if it’s not okay, it’s not the end yet. Perhaps one day the end may come while it’s not okay, but for now, we have to live our lives with hope. I have to jump back onto the mountain that I fell off last week, stay as positive as I can, and bash out another set of exams, just like I did in January.

Sometimes you need to cry, and that’s okay. That’s human. Especially when it involves close friends and mental health. Life was never designed to be easy, but it’s a shame that school never made us better prepared for these situations, when they rolled off their facts to a classroom of nods.

Now, in my degree, when before lecturing on schizophrenia or depression, they give us those same basic facts that they told us in school, I don’t just nod. I breathe, I swallow, and I think, love and hope. It may just be facts for many of you, but it’s my reality, and I wouldn’t change my friends or family for the whole entire world.

5 days later

I have had a headache for five days. It’s probably a tension headache, or maybe I just need an eye test, but it’s agonising. It’s sitting in the back of my head, refusing to budge no matter how much water I drink or pain meds I take. I gave up with the pain meds 2 days ago, but I have a Skype meeting this evening that I cannot miss, so I’m going to try again.

It’s exhausting, I have too much to do, and I’ve just dissolved into tears. I’m going home tomorrow, but I’m off to volunteer for a week on Sunday. I’m only home for 24 hours before I need to be a responsible adult, and I can’t go feeling like this.

I can feel my shoulders raised, but I can’t relax them. My head is excruciating, and I really am not coping this evening. I need a hug, that’s the only time I’ve ever been able to physically feel tension swim out of my body.

I want to go home. I want to go to bed. I want this to go away. I have too many other things on my plate right now.

Feeling Weird

I’m feeling weird today. I think I’m probably just overtired, but today, I don’t want people, I don’t want work, and I don’t want stress. Today, I want to sit on my own, in the dark. I’ve cried today. I cried at university, right in the middle of one of the eating places. I was on my own, in the sense there was nobody I knew, but there were plenty of strangers around to watch me.

I wanted to go to bed early tonight, but I have to wash up. Perhaps I’ll leave some for the morning. I don’t know yet.

I hope I’m just exhausted, I hope that this isn’t a crack in the beautiful positive life I’ve been building recently. Today, even my Rainbow unit didn’t make me happy. I had a constant ringing in my ears, a dizzy feeling, and as soon as I got on the bus home, I felt an overwhelming feeling of sleepiness.

I cannot do today, and I cannot do people. I can’t concentrate on work, and I’m afraid that this may be slipping back in as a habit. I know that this is anxiety taking it’s toll. I’ve been learning all about anxiety, depression, OCD, everything to do with the brain. The lectures make me uneasy, but I hope it will help me to accept some of my feelings, and some things about myself that are simply fact. I don’t know, I had been doing so well. I’ve been so positive and happy that this feeling terrifies my even more, and I can feel myself entering a cycle again.

I had been doing so well, but not today. You can tell, this blog doesn’t make sense. I’m jumbled. I don’t think straight when I feel this way, and that’s why I can’t work. It’s 7.45pm. I’m going to bed soon. I need to talk, to write, something.

Writing isn’t helping today. I don’t feel any relief when I’m writing this. I have a fear that I may just burst at any second.

Please, someone help me, before it’s too late.