Isolation

Is the dominant thing I’m feeling right now. So cut off.

*TRIGGER WARNING* – feeling isolated, details of severely depressed and anxious feelings*

I’m at home, off sick, because of depression and anxiety. This has been triggered by employment stuff, which was really the final nail in the coffin of me managing this worsening bout of it.

Ironically, this stress was caused by an attempt to make reasonable adjustments that would prevent the worsening of my illness. I can’t talk too openly about it whilst it’s still going on as I don’t want to face repercussions – or for it to make things worse for me. But by god we’ve still got a long way to go in terms of the way people with mental health are treated.

If you can’t see a flesh wound, it’s not there, right? And if you’re high-functioning like I am, and have built up a cabinet of armour to defend yourself and hide behind, your illness is even less visible. So you’re a good actor until you hit the point at which the cracks start to show. Which doesn’t help you any, because you’re presumed to be fine, even if you’ve written reams detailing exactly how you’re not fine, and sent it to the relevant people.

Having done that in itself, and having it not prioritised, and not even being treated equally to others, makes you feel so vulnerable, and isolated. The very fact that I’m the kind of person who learned to bury all the crazy beneath layers of defences and ‘acceptable behaviour’ means it took a hell of a lot to even put a case together to demonstrate how my illness is affecting me on a daily basis.

It’s hard being so open about that stuff, and emotionally draining writing it, reliving it, having to explain it in terms people who don’t have mental illness understand – and having to have your brain/psychology picked apart by others for them to decide whether or not they believe you or deem it as proof. To do this and then be treated unfairly, and be dragged through more processes than seem to be required of others, just makes you feel untrusted, undervalued – and so very unsupported.

When it’s a bunch of people doing that to you, it’s fucking horrible. It’s part of the reason I can’t face the world today – and why this blog has fallen silent for some time.

I just feel like I’m out of mentally out of touch with other humans right now, no matter how physically close they are. Alone, on the other side of a frosted, a pane of glass that’s sound proof to you. Like I’m trying to say I’m ill. I’m trying to say I can’t cope with things that you deem as easy. And I’m not being heard – and what I am feeling cannot be seen – from the other side of this glass.

The one thing I can hear is you telling me how it’s not practical. It’s not convenient. It’s unfortunate. That you’re sorry. That policies, procedures and arrangements must go ahead in spite of this. That you’re disappointed in the effect my mental illness is having on these important structures and their ability to be fulfilled. Demonstrating a lack of true understanding, by placing all of these at a higher importance than the actual human being affected. Placing them above my being able maintain a grip on my sanity.

Try to understand. It’s like something dark and abyss-like is attempting to swallow me. And I’m trying with every fibre of my being to keep my head above it, to stop it consuming me. All the while it’s stabbing & clawing at me, from every angle, and it hurts like hell. It’s taking all my energy. And just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean I can’t feel it.

So if you can’t understand why I can’t deal with seemingly small actions or interactions right now, please use the depiction here to try and begin to imagine how it feels. And be patient, whilst I try and figure out how I’m going to smash the glass, and emerge back through to re-join you all.

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Self-destruction vs. motivation

So it’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been busy, but also, demotivated. I had time last week when I had a day off, which I could have used to write here. But S.A.D stopped me.

And I can feel everything around me that needs doing piling up, because I’m not doing it. I have to do work, obviously, otherwise I’d lose my job, but other than that, it’s like I’ve lost any motivation to do anything else.

I’m really annoyed that I started up a course a few weeks back, well an intro to a course anyway, which ends tonight. I’m not going. I tried going last week – and was locked out. In the rain. Which wasn’t great… but the week before that I didn’t go because I ‘couldn’t be bothered’.

Now, I paid for this course. It’s a subject area I want to know more about, and will even help me understand things enough to impact the direction of my career. You don’t have a certificate at the end, it was just suitable and interesting. I can take it again next year. But every time I feel I can’t be bothered, I beat myself up it.

I think even using the term ‘can’t be bothered’ implies to myself I’m just being lazy, instead of being more compassionate with myself about the real reason. I’m also worried those around me I care about think the same of me.

It’s also tied up with self-destructive patterns (maybe that’s a whole other post…) that happen when I’m stressed out. Drinking, smoking, staying up late, eating crap etc – which I do as coping mechanisms that then make my life much harder and contribute to not being able to muster up the energy to do anything for myself.

It’s bloody hard when your starting place is struggling to care about your own welfare, about being healthy physically, and mentally. And so you just stay stuck in the perpetual loop of making things worse for yourself.

I just get so frustrated that I try and do things to change elements of my life, then something triggers stress, I end up not looking after myself, then I end up not being able to do the very thing that I’m trying to improve my life with. Then I feel back to square one, and a failure.

Right now, I think the only way I’m going to break this chain of events is avoiding things for the next few weeks, unless it’s exercise. And quitting drinking the rest of this month. It definitely won’t fix everything, but it’s worth a try to lessen the worse impacts of depression and anxiety.