I had a serious meltdown on Monday night and as a result made my blog private, and decided not to blog anymore. I was severely hurt. I have since decided not to let anyone shut down my voice. Yes I may change my manner of blogging if possible, but I’m only speaking my truth. Mental illness has become my life this year, not by choice. It’s been a battle to survive. My blog is my way of explaining my thought processes and the challenges I face with this illness. Nothing is ever done maliciously. I simply say things as I see them, from the perspective of having a mental illness and experiencing a mental breakdown. You see the world completely differently during a breakdown. I think you’d all acknowledge that. I report on what I’m experiencing and what my perception of reality is – not to hurt anyone, but rather to explain why I act the way I do… to explain that I’m paranoid and believing things that may not be true. If people take offence at that then it shows a lack of interest in even trying to understand my illness and how I feel. The aim has always been to explain so as not to be misunderstood, and so that people know why I’m behaving how I am, and at times this has failed epically and left me even more misunderstood. But this is a failing on the part of those who refuse to try and understand. I’ve tried to make people understand, if they still can’t then unfortunately it’s not my problem.
I have decided to continue my blog, as those with a mental illness know where I’m coming from and what I’m saying – and that after all is the whole purpose of this blog. That and challenging stigma – and what I have faced recently is stigma in my opinion.
Before the thing that caused my breakdown on Monday night I had been at the theatre at a comedy show…. I had intended to write about it when I got home, as it was the most peculiar experience I’ve had lately, but I got distracted by even worse things…
But anyway, I was anxious about going to this show, as I hardly go out anymore – especially to anything big like that. I went with a family member. I had already felt reluctant about going, as I’ve had such a horrible year and my mental health is that bad that I felt I wouldn’t enjoy it. To some degree I was right…
It was hard to understand what he was saying, as he speaks so fast, with an accent too… so I missed a fair few bits. I also have a back problem, so found it difficult to sit for a long time. By the break I was desperate to stand up…. so the second half was particularly painful, I still couldn’t always hear him… and then he brought up Brexit. He lost me after that. I don’t find it amusing to laugh at and attack something I voted for which politicians are on the cusp of betraying. I don’t like lefty luvvies making fun of my vote for entertainment purposes or their own virtue-signalling purposes. So, I kind of switched off at that point, and no matter how hard I tried after that to reconnect, I couldn’t find anything he said funny enough to laugh at it.
I became very aware that I was sat in a room full of hundreds of people laughing their heads off, and I felt very disconnected from it all. It’s like I was there but not a part of it. I kept trying to get myself to focus on the show and the jokes, but my mind had already wandered off. And my illness had taken over.
I felt like I was broken. Faulty. Damaged. I started thinking all these things I’ve planned for next year – if I’m this ill I’m not going to enjoy them. I don’t feel able to enjoy anything anymore. Even when I went and saw the fireworks at the start of the month, I felt detached. Walking to see them, alongside everyone else making their way there, I thought ‘It can’t be fireworks again already… it doesn’t feel like that time of year’. Probably because I have hidden away for most of the year so missed a lot of the seasons…. I can’t believe it’s Christmas again in a month… the second one without my granddad. I don’t feel in that sort of spirit because of my mental health, the problems I’m having and because the year has just disappeared. I’m going to try and make the best of Christmas, in that I want it to be a peaceful Christmas.
But I feel so disconnected from life that even fun events feel like ‘going through the motions’ and pretending. I don’t get the same joy from them at the moment. So I went away from it having not enjoyed it, not finding it that funny, and feeling very pensive. I thought there was only one thing that could finish off the day in style – a horrible message from someone…. sure as hell that’s what I got when I got home 11.30pm. Then the proverbial hit the fan and I ended up on the phone to the Samaritans at 1am.
I won’t say any more about that in this post. This is more about that feeling of being disconnected from the world around you – it’s something I’ve felt all year to some degree. It has only got worse over time. My family are real. But any interactions outside of that don’t feel real. Anything that happens around me is as though it’s happening whilst I’m in an invisible bubble, just watching. I even hear myself saying words and sometimes don’t feel I’m in control of saying them.
I don’t laugh at things the same. At home I might, but not elsewhere. I feel I can’t let go of everything that’s happened in the last couple of years…. I can’t just let go and have fun anymore. I’ve spent most days suicidal. It’s hard to truly experience the feelings of happiness and enjoyment when you’re still in that state of mind. Will I ever find things funny again? Will I ever be able to genuinely smile and enjoy being around people again? Will I ever live one day like a normal person and not secretly be wanting to end my own life? It doesn’t feel like it.
Monday evening was when I realised how broken and ill I am. I was later attacked by someone who refuses to understand that illness. So I have to put myself first, understand my own illness and not beat myself up for having it. I don’t know how to connect with the world around me anymore… I’m not sure the way out of that. My first priority has to be to try and get the help I need – the understanding, support and validation. I’m not an expert in breakdowns and how to recover from them. So I have to be patient with myself and as people would say to me, take it a day at a time. I only hope people can show more compassion and understanding than I received the other night, whilst I live in this hell. It’s scary to not feel part of life, to be in so much pain and not want to exist anymore. To not feel in control of your own mind and body sometimes. It’s embarrassing to have people witness your mental breakdown, fearing they will judge you for it and leave you. Trying to rebuild your life whilst wanting to die is so hard. And I’m grateful to those who understand and who have stuck by my side and not held my illness against me.
I shall continue writing, as a step on my long journey to hopefully getting well again one day. If my truth offends people then I’m sorry. But I’m only sharing my relatively new experience of paranoia and trauma, and living with this illness is more painful for me than sharing my truth could ever be for you.