Day 9: What are some of the important events in your life, that may have effected your mental illness(es) for the worse or better? (You can make a timeline)
I believe that on review, my illnesses have impacted most of the important events in my life, if not in some instances created them. I am only going to write about two of them because I can get overwhelmed in all the negative emotions these memories can bring.
My wedding day:
I was so stressed out that I did not get to really enjoy the moments that make this day special for most people. I remember finding a cat paw on the second tier of my wedding cake and trying to hide it – believing that dad would freak out if he saw it. Since I was already freaked out it was an easy conclusion. It was not that I didn’t want to marry hubby it was having to stand in front of everyone. It didn’t matter that I knew them all and in fact, had invited them, I just hated being looked at. I remember that when the JP said hubby could kiss the bride, he got no chance to do so because I grabbed him in a tight hug until I could breathe normally again. I am always stronger beside hubby.
The one regret I have from my wedding day is that I did not have the composure to make a speech. I kept trying to stand and say something but the anxiety was too strong. If I had been able to defeat my anxiety in that moment I would have thanked my parents for their support and financial assistance to put the wedding together. I would also have thanked my cousin for being my bridesmaid, her brother had been seriously injured in a fire and it was unclear if she could even attend.
Stress nearly destroyed my third attempt to pass my Masters thesis. The first attempt crashed and burned near the end when my niece was fighting her brain tumour. I just found studying pointless when my family were in such pain and worried so much about whether my niece could survive. The second attempt, also for a Masters in Nursing, didn’t even get started with the death of my colleague. I couldn’t save her and that loss resulted in my walking away from Nursing and anything related to it.
It can seem like death stalked my academic attempts to complete my Masters. The third attempt carried the stress of the previous two. Scott, my favourite lecturer died, being unable to be my supervisor, and while I was trying to complete the thesis. I got it completed and I hold the qualification but my grade was negatively impacted on by the stress during the work of completing it.
I feel the need to defend my stress. Prior to 2013 I would use my stress to perform above expectations. It meant I worked harder to try and reduce the chance of failure. I really do not take failure well. I would push and push and push, eventually needing to just stop to regain energy and get some rest. I am great in emergencies but afterward I kind of fall apart. Getting it back together can be a rather hit and miss operation.
The proudest I am of my stress is from two of the hardest days of my life. On the first day, I tried to help my colleague when she was dying. It was unsuccessful but, unlike my colleagues, I stayed with her and did my best. The second day, was at the site of a car crash on the day they turned my friends life machines off. I was still able to manage the man’s care until the ambulance came, despite the colleagues with me wanting to simply drive by. I had some “shitty” colleagues that did not undertake the duty of care with the same respect that I felt it required. However, when my colleagues let me down my stress did not.