I’ve recently been discharged from a psychiatric clinic for a depression episode. I’ve been writing and thinking a lot about my current state as well as my experiences within the clinic, but mainly what I want in my life. This piece touches on my state of mind post-discharge, and is centred round my thinking of being worthy of being called a mental health advocate.
My ideas and writing are flowing beautifully- this often makes me nervous because I worry I’m hypomanic. Although I do need to mention, I am feeling like myself lately – as if I have returned from the dead. To me, this statement I can take literally. I was dead: an unreliable, lifeless body of fake smiles and numbed energy. And nobody really knew, except me.
I don’t like to burden, not even my closest ones, with all my thoughts and feelings- seriously, who would want to hear the stories of my sobbing brain anyway?
That’s what it feels like: my brain is sobbing- weeping because it cannot function. It can’t understand and I can’t connect to flip the switch to feel anything but pain.
The fact that my brain can’t function is painful.
It can’t tell me to go fetch the post, clean the dishes, feed the children, let alone shower and brush my teeth. It can’t even get me out of bed to drop or fetch the children from school.
It’s all noise. Tasks, lights: noise. There’s no love either. I’m numb. As the time passes I miss deadlines and break relationships and I can’t say sorry. I literally struggle to utter a word.
How do I then speak up for those who are ready to remove themselves from the world by cuts and nooses? How do I lift my tongue, heavy from the crying, to say it’s okay to live in this world?
How do I say I’m good enough for the world- to teach others that life is worth living, when I have been unsure more than once myself? How do I speak up for myself when darkness was all I knew?
It’s extremely difficult to be seen as reliable to anyone after you crash. This especially after you have publicly shown how vulnerable you can be.
In the same heavy breath, I can say now though, that through the darkness, I have seen and now see the light.
In this moment, I am present, and say and see it was okay to fall apart in a million pieces. That’s one of the best messages I would pass on to any broken person who happens to hear my voice.
Know this; we’re alive to be in this moment, caught between the darkness of this mental illness and the reality of being perceived as weak and unreliable.
We’re caught between loving and hating the ones who care; hurting them and hurting ourselves; defending or swimming in our own misery.
Even in all these struggles, I still sit here today, not really stronger, but more resilient.
How do I know this?
In my time of brokenness, I fell apart ten times over and chose the part I wanted to glue together.
This is my world. And I choose life. Life where I can speak about what I endure on a daily basis. Medication, therapy, financial constraints, husband, children, friends and family are all in the mix.
In this moment, I prize a recovering mind and soul.
I choose life.