So I was sitting at the kitchen table, after a days study, when this familiar wave crept over me. Its started off slow, and then hit me like a ton of bricks. It wasn't an unusual feeling, I'd been here before. In the chest crushing, over whelming sense of the emotion this wave brought.
That wave, was loneliness.
Now please don't stop reading because you think this is going to be a really depressing post and for feck sake theres enough bad shit going on in the world, I dont need to be reading more of it! I get that feeling, honestly I do. It's the same thing thats been going through my head as the Irish Times puts up constant posts about homelessness on my Twitter feed, and I can't cope with the sadness of homelessness because my own home means so much to me and I couldn't bare to loose it. Not to mention the idea that you'd have no body in the world who'd want to look after you.
So I decided in order to cope with this over whelming sense of loneliness I was going to busy myself by cleaning my room. I was going to pull out all the drawers and clean them and dust everything and I was going to be so shattered tired after all that I wouldnt be able to be lonely, and wouldn't I have a great sense of achievement and then that'd be lonliness pushed aside for another night!
On my twitter feed...
Popped up this fella.....
And I realised, that tonight, yeah maybe I was going to clean out my whole room, and it'd be great. But that I wasn't going to run away from what I felt. That loneliness was shit, but it was ok to feel it and I shouldn't have to hide it.
I started thinking as well about what Kevin says about how depression never goes away. Now my speciality so to speak isn't really depression, I do suffer with it, but I would class myself as suffering more with anxiety. But the same rings true for both illness', they don't go away, even when you recover.
In the media, and I think this is a perception I have enforced upon myself, it's ok to suffer with mental health, as long as you're on the road to recovery and you're not suffering right now. I say this is a self inflicted perception I have because despite setting up this blog to communicate to the outside world what it was like to suffer from a mental illness, I haven't really said much about the day to day issues. Ya know its ok to not be ok, just not right now.
Stigma. It's one of the biggest words around mental health. Even when I do outpatient programmes we talk about stigma. Society's stigma, self stigma, these are huge issues and I personally don't have answers for them. I self stigmatise A LOT. Another stigma thats coming up is this idea of bringing people down when you talk about your mental issues, and this is where the idea of 'it's ok to not be ok, just not right now' comes into play.
I don't blame people. Its only natural to not want to hear sad things. About homelessness, about the economy, about how a loved one is feeling like shit yet again today. But this fear of bringing people down, or that people switch off when things we don't really want to hear about come up, is real. and its so damaging to people who suffer with mental health.
This fear of bringing people down just adds to the culture of silence about certain aspects about mental health. Mental health is such a hot topic, and for that I am so grateful. Its not lost on me that if I'd been born generations earlier I'd possibly of been sent to have a frontal lobotomy, if I hadn't had such wonderful caring folks I could of ended up on drugs and if they're hadn't of been such awareness there would never of been such great work done around mental health and I might still not be here.
But we need to open the discussion further..
We need to say it's ok to talk about the day to day stuff. That people don't need to pay €150 an hour to have someone listen to their thoughts because they've got people in their day to day lives who even if they don't fully understand that they will listen anyways because it's ok to talk about these things.
It needs to be ok for me to write here:
I'M SO LONELY AND IT SUCKS!!
Because I might not be the best fun in the world, but I'm an ok person, who'd like a friend. And if you stayed with me till here, thanks so much, it means an awful lot to me. *HUGS*
And thanks Kevin, for reminding me why I started this fight, and why I get up every day and fight some more.