Today I feel I should start by explaining in some way my last post which I suspect made no sense at all to anyone but me.
As most of you know my mental illness interferes with my ability to cope with many everyday activities without the support of ‘The Body Guard’ and those things I do manage alone are only doable if he is at least nearby. I could give for instances but we would be here all day so I won't.
Probably most significant at the moment given the fear every DWP letter, phone call and assessment instills in me is that my disability also prevents me from working. (Trust me if I could work I would even if just to be free of ‘THEM’) As I’m unable to function at home or outdoors without support it also prevents ‘TheBodyGuard’ from working, although given that I care for our disabled child with his help and he cares for us both with no help (full time) I would (with all due respect) ask those who see fit to judge us to *define work*
Anyway back to my last ramble (here) >> That thing that I do feels unsafe following a harmless conversation on twitter I found myself imagining that the powers that be might be watching me, that they might - a) object to my constant tweeting against the unfairness of a system that treats vulnerable people so appallingly and - b) that as I am (sometimes) capable of knocking out a blog and to some degree (though limited) use a computer they would decide I am fit for work
Of course if this were to happen I wouldn't find myself miraculously cured, (if it were that easy I’d have plonked myself in front of an ATOS assessor 'voluntarily' years ago!) I could however be sanctioned for not doing as I’m told though and this terrifies me. I mean really terrifies me, a constant, sometimes overwhelming fear that has served to exacerbate my symptoms dramatically!
Thoughts* that the powers that be might actually be stalking me (*paranoid, obsessive, panicky terror would be more accurate) led me to run away from a support network that quite frankly has become my life line!
Without the support of these people, some of whom I've come to care very much about and who I believe feel the same way about me I felt isolated, afraid and extremely low. I continued to watch 'through the window so to speak' the comings and goings of my on line friends. I saw all their highs, lows, happy moments and cries for help but despite my fingers itching to tap out support, virtual hugs, encouragement and solidarity, fear prevented me from doing so!
Selfishly after days of tears, isolation, intrusive thoughts, and (though I’m ashamed to admit it) self harm, it was my own need of support that eventually prompted me to seek reassurance and after a private conversation with someone I felt I could trust I was able to (tentatively at first) step back into*The wonderful world of Twitter*.
Now some might question why this virtual world has become so important to me, why many of the people there have come to mean so much to me. Well let me try and explain.
I have a husband who is incredibly supportive but he doesn’t suffer with mental illness so though he’s patient, sympathetic and claims to love me regardless. *He doesn’t get me*
I have an elderly vulnerable mother who is reaching out to me, she’s sorry for past actions, worried sick about me and so desperate to be let in. A mother who knows exactly what it’s like to live with a mental illness. She has changed beyond all recognition from the mother I feared as a child.
The arms that once lashed out at me are now wide open, the lips that once spat such anger my way are now kissy, smiley and speak only of her love for me. Her expression is loving, pleading, slightly pathetic and her rage a thing of the past. BUT.... Though I can forgive her, I feel resentful and vulnerable in her presence.*I can’t trust her*
I have five amazing children who though not completely untouched by their mum’s mental illness have been largely protected from it over the years. Four of them are adults now and would listen to me if I asked but I WON’T burden them any more than I have done in the past and with the possible exception of my middle son who has ADHD and some obsessive tendencies himself, *They don’t get me*
I have a therapist who is kindness itself and paid to listen. As pointed out to me by a good friend recently, 'one to one' therapy is not that easy to come by and I’m very lucky to have her. BUT *I’m afraid to trust her*
I have a psychiatrist who spends ten minutes every three months trying to convince me that drugs are the answer to all my prayers, seemingly unaware of the fact that I have tried various drugs in the past, (do they ever read the notes)
Some tablets actually increased symptoms, others turned me into a *far away person* (tongue stuck to roof of mouth, disassociated) and some lead me into very dangerous territory. I'm afraid of medication! (I suspect there is another blog here, watch this space)
Here is another person that I find difficult to trust and unless his knowledge of mental illness comes from personal experience rather than an education and a pile of text books, *He doesn't get me*
So there it is my friends, 'The wonderful world of Twitter' means so much to me because its full of empathetic people who I've never met and *They Get Me*
POSITIVE THOUGHT :O)
Next week I am going to meet one of my Twitter friends and despite being *intrusive thoughty* kinda nervous I am also *bubbly tummy* very excited! Eeeeek!
You know what seems really strange to me though (and reassuringly positive)…. Despite having never met this person and despite OCD doing its best to convince me otherwise *I TRUST HER*
P’S For all you spelling and grammar freaks out there, yes I do know there’s no such word as *thoughty* I write as I speak I’m afraid. This means of - course that if I ever get round to writing that book I’ve been harping on about for years I’ll be an editors nightmare!
Lord, Thank you for bringing me through a really tough few weeks, for giving me the strength to cope with my own struggles and still be open to those of others. Thank you for leading me to a whole bunch of *lovelies* who are willing despite their own struggles to support me through mine. Amen
Thank you as always friends for allowing me to share
God bless you and all those you love
Authors note >> I feel I must point out that while my own experience of medication in the past has been negative I have spoken to a good number of people who have responded well to medication and subsequently noticed improvement in their symptoms of mental illness. It’s also worth noting that in my case fear of medication is exacerbated by intrusive thoughts, a symptom of ‘OCD’.