May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I wanted to talk about the mess that is my brain. Actually, calling it a mess is kind. It’s a total shit show right now.
Back in February I was celebrating my birthday when I got a message saying my Dad had gone into hospital. He has Alzheimer’s and he’d been admitted to hospital after they thought he’d had a fall. It was worrying and stressful.
A couple days later a familiar sensation started to creep in and I knew I was headed for stormy waters. I have not been coping well with my Dad’s Alzheimer’s. In fact I’m willing to admit I’m in total denial about it.
I don’t usually have a trigger for my depression, it just kinda happens. This time I was worried about my Dad and I’d also launched a project I’d been working on and it was failing – more on that in another blog post!
Before I knew it I had been hit with the sledgehammer of a depressive episode.
This depressive episode hit right in the middle of a chronic pain flare up. I’m writing this post on my phone, adding to it sporadically when the pain in my hip back and legs subsides. I really try to stay as positive as possible but having a chronic pain flare up and a depressive episode hit all at once is just too much.
I feel exhausted all the time and everything I do is taking from an already depleted source. Insomnia stops me from being able to drift off to sleep at night or I manage to fall asleep but only for an hour or so.
My energy levels are low and I’m struggling to get excited about anything. And yet, the impulse to create is strong. Which makes me feel like I’m lazy because I don’t have the energy to create and I start to spiral. I feel disconnected and frustrated.
My brain is not my aly in times like these. It tells me awful things about myself and judges everything I do. Which is frustrating because the voice that tells me I’m a piece of shit comes from the same place that positive reinforcement comes from. The same place that says go on, you can do it…reach for the stars!
And that’s not even getting into the things my brain tells me about food and body image. I’m exhausted just thinking about it let alone putting it into words.
I have to work so hard to battle that voice and sometimes you’re just too tired to fight it.
I realised that this month is Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s also the first anniversary of my friends passing. She was struggling with her mental health and sadly she lost the fight. I think about her often and I don’t want anyone to feel like suicide is the only option.
If you need help please reach out to friends, family and professionals. Here is a link to the some helpful phone numbers via the NHS.
Take care of yourself!
The Badass Manifesto