Becky, April 23, 2018

Picture of blogger: Becky

I’ve never really talked about my mental health; maybe I’m embarrassed by it or what people will think of me. It often becomes awkward and some people even stop talking to me altogether. Some don’t get it. That’s ok. There’s a lot of illnesses I don’t understand either. Some get annoyed: ‘How can you be sad, what do you have to be sad about, you have a great life. You have me, isn’t that enough for you?’

If I had a ‘good reason’, like someone had died, you would understand why I was sad. You wouldn’t question it, just accept it and try to help. But because a lot of us don’t have a particular reason, people choose to believe we are somehow making it up. Being ungrateful. Selfish. I can tell you it’s none of that. 

I don’t choose how I am or how I feel. I can’t make myself feel something that I don’t - can any of us? I just don’t have the same emotional processes you do. Mine are broken and I don’t see things how you might. I still love the people in my life, I’m grateful that they are here, but just like it wouldn’t fix a broken leg, it won’t fix my bipolar either. 

Can you imagine the fear and anxiety of having no control over yourself? Becoming irrational and paranoid for no reason. To have thoughts in your head and you have no idea where they came from. To not know what is real and what isn’t. Sometimes it is just sadness. So depressed you can’t even be bothered to move. You are utterly consumed by this physical ache and emotion that nothing can break it. Everything is difficult. You feel worthless and pathetic. You know there’s no point to you and nothing matters. ‘Why bother having a shower, I’m ugly, it doesn’t matter to me or anyone if I’m clean. It’s pointless. I just want to stay in bed.’ 

You don’t want to feel it but how can you ‘snap out of it’? How do you make it go away? Anxiety is debilitating. It’s irrational mostly but it’s intense and comes on quickly and sometimes out of the blue, so you’re not even expecting it! Not sleeping doesn’t help, but who can make themselves sleep? Your mind is full to the brim of stuff just going around and round, analysing everything that has happened or been said; ‘Why hasn’t someone texted back? Why didn’t I get invited out? No one likes me. I’m a freak. I’m stupid. I’m a bad person.’

People tell me: ‘don’t worry’. It can come from a good place, and if I could stop because you’re telling me I can then that would be brilliant. But again, that’s assuming I have control over it and I just don’t. Imagine feeling sick but someone tells you you’re not, so you can feel better now. That’s not going to help or make it stop, it’s only going to confuse you and you’ll probably now hide the fact you’re ill. 

Yet if you want to help someone, you can. It helps when there’s someone to talk to. It helps to know you’re not alone. It really helps knowing that someone is there for you, even if they don’t have all the answers. I don’t need to be fixed, I just need compassion to be who I am. I truly believe we should all be allowed that.

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