I miss you

Can you hear my heart break

Or is this silence too loud?

Since you began to lie to me

How can I believe what I hear?

Scream the truth, shout your pain

Be real, even if only to yourself

I miss my friend so very much

Come back, for yourself, please

Or for those who miss you

I am truly here for you, I am

I hope, through it all, you can see

Please let me be there for you

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I is for Invisible

I is for when I feel invisible

For feeling observed but not seen

For not being deemed ‘normal’

Society makes me feel divisible

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I can be ‘normal’ but it is just an act

I can be mentally ill but I can function

I can’t be both, apparently society objects

I often feel like something in me be lacked

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Was I absent the means to impress?

Wanting to blend into the background

Not wanting to be gossiped about

Not wanting to make public my distress

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I need to be me, no matter my state

I need to be free to express myself

To be allowed to function within society

Nothing to be labelled and nothing to abate

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I don’t want to be the societal conception

Something they must label and define

Something less because I am not perfect

Not wanting to perpetrate a deception

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Just wanting to be the person I could be

Possibly eccentric, or shy, or passive

But the ability to be and do as I will

Without ongoing public scrutiny

A to Z Challenge

Please just listen

Day 18:  What do you wish people would understand in regards to mental illness and/or mental health?

This is an easy one.  I wish that people would stop any assumption or “common sense” understanding they think they have about a person with a mental illness.  Instead, I would request that they ask for the person’s experience of their mental illness and just listen!  Do not assume that the experience of depression is the same for everyone.

Secondly, I would love people to treat mental illnesses in exactly the same way as physical illnesses.  To see it as an illness of the mind, like an illness of the body.   Not as something to be scared of.  All medications cause side effects.  You take them for a heart condition and you take them for depression.

What is worse? worsening? worst?

Day 11: What is the worst thing in regard to your mental illness(es)?

This seems so easy, having them is the worst thing about me mental illnesses.  Feeling no hope, wanting to hide from the world and even the morning, wanting to be alone but needing to be held.  Not to mention wanting support but craving privacy, wanting understanding but getting judgement, wanting to be “normal” but having no real concept of how to get there bar as a thin disguise.  Lets not forget the symptoms, stressing when in public or even the hall of your home at the thought of going out, shaking with the effort to not appear nervous, let alone in the midst of a panic attack, stuttering because the voices of the past are interrupting your need to converse sensibly with someone, hypervigilence and waiting for the next assault.

So having any form of mental illnesses can be the worst.  The individual experience, the societal judgement, the stigma attached, the assumptions about functioning and any other aspect of the illness and what results as a consequence of it.  But not just for myself, for those that know and worry for and about me, as well as those who don’t know and wonder what the hell at my behaviour, coldness or bursts of frustration.  It is all just hard at times beyond challenge into all consuming and I live and breathe it each and every second that passes.

Collision

MIA challenge

Day 5: Do you believe nature (biology/physiology), nurture(environment), a mix, or something else has an impact on mental health?

I believe that everything has an impact on mental health.  For example, yesterday I was unable to write effectively because of reading about the Norwegian massacre.  I thought that crying as I read about the tragedy was enough of an emotional release but apparently I needed some grumpy time too.

There are of course studies that show genetic predispositions to certain mental illnesses like schizophrenia.  For my anxiety, my mother experiences similar issues.  For my depression, my Auntie Doff (grandmother’s sister) definitely had depression subsequent to her fiance dying.  I am sure if I looked further into my genealogy there would be other examples.   In fact, mental illness is no different from physical illness in that aspect.  As in many others, no matter how often they are refuted.

Nurture has its place as well.  Some mental illnesses are derived in trauma, obviously like PTSD.  How we are bought up, or not, is a factor in whether we get a mental illness or in how we manage it.  Support can be really important in recovery and maintaining independence.  Family life can also determine the decisions we make.  I remember a young man who was diagnosed with Schizophrenia.  The psychiatrist’s believed that his recent try at methamphetamine (P) had triggered this.  He might never have developed full blown schizophrenia otherwise, but of course that can not be fully known.

I believe that societal attitude can impact mental health.  It can determine the stereotypes about illnesses that is perpetuated regardless of their veracity. Funding can be in line with the mental illnesses that find favour in society or have front people that are acceptable. For example, in NZ All Black John Kirwan fronts the depression campaign.  This can also determine which medications are subsidised and therefore more likely to be within any income restraints.  Discrimination against people with certain mental illnesses can impact their ability to obtain work and interact effectively in society. Research grants and topics can be determined by their popularity which can impact on advances in all aspects of mental health.

Therefore, I believe everything impacts mental illness from its inception or trigger to the process of recovery and maintaining independence.  The various combinations can mean a greater impact or a greater opportunity to recover independence and the opposites of course.  We can do nothing without our brain and everything can impact upon that.

 

 

 

Is how I feel, how I understand?

MIA challenge

 

Day Two:   How do you feel about your diagnosis?

Sadly it should read how do I feel about my diagnoses, as in multiple.  I listed them all yesterday (https://shadowrealities.me/2016/01/04/30-day-challenge/) and I noticed that the consequence of doing so was that I spent the evening “out of sorts”.  I thought I had accepted them.  That I accepted that I had at the least those diagnoses.  I also thought I had accepted that I was letting other people know about them in this, for me, a very public release to my various social media sites.  I was kidding myself, I got mindlessly angry with nothing and everything.  I was just angry.

PTSD has been my shadow for a very long time.  I am not only used to it, it has become my “excuse” so to speak for anything that goes wrong.  I don’t mean excuse, as in I used PTSD as a way to avoid being responsible for something.  Instead, I used PTSD as the rationale for what was wrong with me, no matter the circumstances.  Which meant that I largely ignored the growing problems of depression especially, but also anxiety.

I ‘felt’ like PTSD was an honourable condition that I did not need to be ashamed of.  But somehow I did feel shame when I experienced depression or I acknowledged that my anxiety was not under my control.  I know it makes little sense but its true that some diagnoses I could accept in relation to myself and others I could not.  I may have unconsciously accepted the stereotypes of the mental health community.

I guess I feel like I earned PTSD for what I suffered and that the label is a badge of honour.  Even more simply, the symptoms of PTSD are a mirror image to what I have suffered.  It seems right that what I went through should have a label.  For some reason, I felt like depression was not earned and it was just a weakness that I should be able to flick off like a pesky fly.

I have always been anxious, so I don’t really feel anything about it.  I would say that I just accept it and am glad that it is easing back with the help of medication as I am no longer able to use it to my advantage like I once did.  I am not saying my thinking or feeling is normal I am just trying to share it.

Overall, I feel disabled because of these and the physical health diagnoses I also have that these contributed and contribute to.  I have never felt disabled before I have always felt it gave me the ability to understand what others ran from or jeered at.  Now, I feel it, be that my age or finally accepting what was happening for me and then really feeling it.  No suppression or repression or denial.  So this is how I feel.  I hope it wasn’t too boring or confusing.

Please ask questions and/or share your story.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

The unheard us

In a world of noise
We are the silent
In a world that judges
We are the judged

We feel alone much of the time
By choice or by societal pressure
No one shares our story or pain 
Not even those labelled the same

In a world of outward hatred
We are the ones hating inwardly
In a world of beautiful sights
All we see is our ugliness

You don’t need to shout over us
We are already cowered and unheard
You don’t need to relentlessly judge us
Our self condemnation is established