Day 15: How has your life been effected by your illness(es)? (Some ideas are: relationships, career, school)
My life has, is and will probably continue to be effected by my mental illnesses. It isn’t fatalism, it is simply fact. However, that is not to say that the effect will remain a negative one.
Relationships are impacted on through my learned inability to trust, to express emotion in acceptable ways and to be open with people. I struggle to do that with existing relationships, including familial ones and it is even more difficult with new ones. Some times I am so numb I can not even feel emotion, not love or hate of anything. I put a huge distance between me and other people. It is just natural for me and something I have to concentrate on to not do.
School was positively and negatively effected. I had developed a drive to perfectionism. That meant I studied religiously to get a result that might be acceptable to me, no matter the grade, they never were. I used to have to get the lady giving the papers back read my grade to me, I was just to stressed to do it. Negatively, was the struggle to complete an exam whilst having a panic attack or standing in front of a class to present and you can no longer read your notes so you have to wing it. Not really breathing till it was over.
My career was both made and ruined by my mental health. I went into mental health nursing because of the empathy I felt for people that lived with and in spite of mental health challenges. It was also a protest against a lecturer who told me that I was wasting my nursing in going into mental health nursing. I always went the opposite to what I was told and I did not like stereotypes of mental health nursing or the bias against it within my studies. Near the end of my career, I had the choice to remain in nursing but to share my mental health story with people that I had come to despise or to walk away. I walked away and I never turned back.
Mental health affects every part of your life so of course mental illness will too. It can impact directly or it can influence the way other things impact you. Your responses to anything, go through the mental illness filter first and the outpouring is unable to be estimated before or prepared for.