I am very recovery focused. I drive, push and sometimes struggle towards moving forwards. More than anything I want to be able to manage my life whilst being content, working and maintaining healthy relationships. I suppose that could be a ‘don’t we all’ statement.
However for some people, especially those who have had, or are enduring mental health difficulties that dream seems so much more rosy, perfect, wonderful in comparison to our lived reality. Managing to function well can seem like a shining star to follow that sometimes feels like it will never be achieved. I can’t afford to think like that though. Mostly because I don’t want to.
The good news is that I am not depressed. For the depression to have lifted, with the aid of medication in conjunction with therapeutic techniques, I feel brighter and more able to conduct the life I choose to lead. No longer is my world shrouded by darkness, a thick smog of depression, and the torrential rainstorms that lash, beat and pin me to the ground of a hellhole. This though is not to say that everything is fine, OK, wonderful. No, not at all, I suppose could be a ‘it never is’ moment. Yes, true, we do all have our problems. I suppose my real point is that I get a bit sick and tired of my problems being mental health related.
Then again, with my history of mental health I suppose an acceptance that I will always be living with needing to manage my mental health needs to be attained. This isn’t to say that I don’t need help. I saw my support worker the other day, and he thinks I need more specialist help again. My GP feels similarly. This makes me sad, but not too sad at the minute because I have very much been walking on sunshine.
I want to write a letter for my next GP appointment next week in order to concisely explain everything that has been happening for me. From this I hope that we can decide my next steps forwards, towards recovery together. So I’ll start with the finer details. The little things that indicate I am not coping quite as well as I’d like to be.
Firstly, I am getting confused with my days. Numerous times in these past few weeks have I thought it was Friday and found out later that it was Tuesday. Every day feels like the weekend or a Friday. Some days, say a Saturday, feels like a Tuesday, and I go through my day as if it is the day I think it is. I have had to revert to wearing my sports watch all the time because it has the day and date on it, in addition to the time. I love my sports watch: I’ve just been wanting to wear my nice watch again for a while, for a bit of change – but then I am all over the place.
I had to leave class on Thursday. Afterwards I felt very embarrassed. We had a mixed group with another class, and no warning about this untwil we all sat down. I felt overwhelmed because they were talking about me, or so I thought. My friend said he didn’t think so – and I trust him. Then I became concerned that they could hear my thoughts and that it might exacerbate the problem if they knew it was winding me up, they could do it more, for fun. Instead of confronting them in the class and causing a scene I walked out to go to the toilet. I sat in a cubicle on my own and tried to count to 200 in my head: counting often helps me to calm down. I couldn’t count. Another voice was in my head trying to count with, or for me, and she kept getting it wrong. 59, 70 for example. I felt confused and had to stop counting. So I just sat there instead before finally walking to the library and walking around to get used to being in touch with my surroundings again.
I’ve been having a number of other unusual experiences also. Audio experiences include having heard voices when it would have been impossible to hear anyone talking to me, or no-one was there. The incident in the street nearly led to an altercation because I wanted to start on him for saying something so nasty to me unnecessarily about the appearance of my shoes. I also heard a voice outside of my head when I was lying awake in bed unable to sleep because the man downstairs was fighting with his girlfriend again. That spooked me out a little and I had to get up and try to do some suduko – but I couldn’t concentrate.
Then there is the sensory, which I have a feeling are dissociative in nature. The jerky reality, moving walls, floors and objects. The being unable to grip my pen, to write properly, and to feel everything jerking, nothing is smooth, and nothing is connected. Everything is appearing in jerky disconnection. Then there has also been the walking on moving floors like at the airport again, when really it is a normal pavement, or walkway.
The urges to draw and write all over the walls in blood haven’t stopped. They are very strong and difficult to manage. However, there have been incidents where it has happened regardless of my attempts to quieten it down for myself. One incident involved the police whilst another we just tried to move on from. The second incident I wrote “I still feel dirty”. Stacey said my behaviour was not normal when the police came over the last time: which is why she phoned them. I asked her in what way, and had I been like that before. She said when I was in a Little Me, then yes. I wrote on the fridge this time as well. I have also had crying voices inside my head alongside repetitive sayings or sentences in repeat for a 100 times. Eventually, they seem to subside after a lot of distraction.
Finally, I think the olanzapine has steadied my mood, however when I first took it that’s when the audio experiences happened and I was very hyper a lot. I slept less, ate less, and had an obverabundance of energy and happiness. I was in a really high mood and my friend who was training to be a mental health nurse said I seemed hypomanic. I did feel amazing, but to the point of a nervous energy building up that made me anxious, uncomfortable and unable to keep up with myself. I was very productive with my college work and wrote a lot of pieces of writing. I felt like I was a secret genius: I think I believed that for a short while.
I couldn’t keep up with my thoughts. It became uncomfortable and I made some silly decisions whilst I was in this place. I am struggling to concentrate as an accumulative result of all of these circumstances in my being. So even though I am not depressed, for which I am grateful for, I suppose I am still struggling to manage and function. I am struggling to stay on track and not give in to some of the urges, impulses and voices. The audio voices shake me up a little and confuse me when they occur. All the while I am trying to study as best I can, it is just difficult when everything is a disjointed and shaky reality.