When falling apart, themostserene requires extensive scaffolding and buddhist monks
“The week after my 30th birthday, my best friend had me committed to a psych ward. Two days later, I had emerged with a life-changing diagnosis. The hard part hadn’t even started yet.”
I read this post a few weeks ago. I didn’t cry, but I did let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding.
Everyone’s different, but that’s how it feels to me when I read a story that resonates so deeply with me that it makes me feel that from this point on I will breathe easier, just having borne witness to someone else’s journey. I was lucky that I was not hospitalised. And I use luck in the sense that it had nothing to do with me or any coping skills I had, it was just the weird happenstance that I had a mother who was working in the mental health field at the time who watched me, while making frantic calls to line up a decent psych referral. It did mean that I could be in a familiar place physically, even if not mentally. It probably was not a great thing for Mum’s mental health. You just don’t have the distance when it’s your own.
I love hearing stories of recovery. It’s why in my personal life, I’m not super-shy about sharing my own. I do get pissed when certain friends asked “if I’ve been taking my meds?” when I display any uncomfortable emotion. But sadly, women get challenged on the validity of emotion-sharing all the time, so that kind of gets filed with the sitcom-standard “have you got your period?”, although in both cases my respect for the questioner gets less every time. They’re not showing concern, they’re invalidating your response and making you question whether you really are falling apart again. It’s bullshit and unfair. /rant
Rookie » On Falling Apart.
I really do take the cake. Again not going to delete evidence of my lack of commitment and general crapness. In fact, I have even moved it. Not for the interest of anyone really, but as fulfillment of my own little promise to myself not to run away from my mistakes and failings.
A lot has changed since the last commercial break.
I am feeling relatively stable, while still feeling like me and not a malfunctioning robot! Hurrah!
I graduated! Double hurrah!
I forced my formerly-almost-agoraphobic arse on a solo holiday in a foreign country where they spoke two languages, neither of which were mine! I am almost as proud of this as I am of my degrees.
My psychologist and psychiatrist would have been proud of me. I say would have, because it’s been almost two years since I’ve seen either of them. Whoops. So, you see, it’s not just blogging that I’m crap at keeping up with. I am still in touch with my GP, so I’m not living on the wildside or anything, just not being super-great.
So anyway. I’ve decided that total self-examination might not be for me. Over-indulgence yes. So I’ve decided that the blog should not just be about my little journey, which if you’ve ever had mental health issues you know is never actually ‘over’, but about the random shit that occupies my thoughts. Maybe this will lead to an increased frequency of posts. May be not, but I’ll give it a red hot go,
I’m not sure how this happened. It’s been six months since I last posted. I’m crap at this. Ho hum.
Actually, I lie. I know how this happened. Not relying solely on medication is hard work. Bureaucracy is gonna make me jump through hoops. I haven’t got better over night.
So I’ll start again. Like I did before, and know I’ll do again. I was just going to wipe the damn thing and pretend it never existed, but I felt maybe that wasn’t being honest to myself. It wasn’t like I meant to give up, so the huuuuuge gap is still part of the journey. One I might not be able to reflect on in great detail, it’s true, but that is what’s true — and so it stays: a gap, a blank, all the little baby steps and boring details, that would look like a huge achievement if I had only started yesterday.
But I’m going to try better. Promise. I’ll try not to give in to the stereotype that persons with bipolar disorder always start things, but never finish. I’m just going to admit to it.
I feel better now I’ve decided this. One more baby step,
Its been nearly three weeks since this new journey began, and for the record, I want it to stop. Or maybe to fast forward. Either way, this has not been the high point of my life so far. First of all – withdrawing from medication. Not as bad as it could’ve been since I was feeling so crap that my compliance had been erratic to say the least.
But when you think about it, when is the worst time to come off all psychiatric medicine? Perhaps when you’ve been seriously considering your last hoorah. On the plus side I was so whacked out on the anti-psychotics that I was given to get rid of the edginess of withdrawal, I was probably safe, since I could hardly form a more coherent sentence than “Ok, I think it might be time for me to go for a little nappy-nap”, never mind for a plan for anything more taxing than calculating the shortest distance at anytime between me and my bed.
By the end of that week then, I was starting to feel a bit better, thoughts starting to form recognizable shapes in my little head.
Of course, I had forgotten the joy that is starting new medication. I’d also forgotten how long it takes for your body and your head to get used to the new cocktail that is coursing around. It’s been two weeks now and still… I mean its frickin six in the am and I’m buzzing like a bee, unable to sleep, but I know that when the land of nod finally beckons there will be no waking me til at least four. That’s right new medication turns this camper into a sixteen year old boy. Grrr.
Where do I start? I’m 28 years old, I’m smart and strange. I’ve been at university for the past nine years without ever graduating. I have mental health issues.
It’s this last point which has prompted me to start indulging in the gratuitous self-disclosure that is the blog. While I’ve been aware of my mental health problems for quite a few years and have been medicated in one form or another for three or four, it is only now that I’ve come to the realisation that maybe its not enough to just medicate and hope it goes away long enough for me to complete my studies, but that I may have to actively engage with my brain in all its complex wonder and try and understand what the hell is going on, and why it won’t do what I want it to.
So that’s where I am now. I’m in the process of deferring from Uni (again), I’ve got myself a new psychiatrist who I will see next week, and I must again venture into the breach and deal with the bureaucracy that is Centrelink, in the hope that I can get some recovering done without jumping through excessive hoops to ensure that I am not unexpectedly without funds.
I can’t believe that I’m the only person who has ever been in this situation, and therefore I want to share this journey. I can’t guarantee that it will always be edifying or positive, or even coherent. But I will try and be honest.