There are moments of utter despair when I can see no way out. In these instances I feel an acute sense of loneliness and friends have to persist to break through that cave of despair. In these moments the mental anguish is such that it takes every effort to control my urges and not self-destruct. It is that urge to destroy which takes hold of me and I want to harm myself.
When I am out of the black hole, I realise that I always want friends to reach out to me when I am in this state of hopelessness. I want them to break through this glass of darkness.
During these times, I am acutely aware that I have had no familial relationships for almost a decade and I revert back to a very lost child. But it is also the case that friends find it extremely hard to engage because in reality a sense of madness has taken over. I need them the most but I am almost unreachable.
It has been really helpful to watch My Mad Fat Diary
In light of all this, it has been really helpful to watch My Mad Fat Diary. It gives people a real sense of what it is like to recover from a breakdown. What I find particularly poignant is the struggle the lead character, Rae, has after her breakdown to rebuild her life and that desperate need we all have to lead a ‘normal’ life.
This involves boyfriends and her navigating a complicated relationship with her mother. This is against a backdrop of flashbacks which triggered her mental anguish as well as the snatches of conversation we witness she has with her therapist. The latter is painfully accurate. The therapist gently pushes her to confront her past and that trigger situation which led to her hospitalisation. She is also brave enough to disclose her instances of self-harm to her friends and acknowledges the madness of this. This resonates deeply.
It's such an accurate portrayal of mental illness
I don’t recall watching such an accurate portrayal of mental illness before and I welcome it now in the hope that it raises awareness. It makes it easier for me to discuss my own mental illness when I can reference My Mad Fat Diary, thus enabling friends to get even a small sense of what it is like to be in the pits of despair. Most importantly, it makes clear that having friends reach out can be a ladder that pulls me out of the well of darkness.
What do you think about the issues raised in this blog?
Huma is on Twitter @Huma101