For our round-up of readings about mental illness this week, I’ve decided to adhere to the time-honored principle for writers – “Show, don’t tell.” Below are some of the best mental health postings around the blogosphere this week, with excerpts and links to read more.
I can’t help but sit here in immense pain, wondering how the hell it got to this? I am stuck! I never really had the motherhood 101 course. No real mentors in this area. All fly by the seat of my pants – make it up as I go, bullshit. I guess I have been doing okay, I just want to be better. More effective. Will you say “That is just PROOF that you are a good mom. You always want to give more – be more for them.” Okay, I get this, to a degree. But here I am, stacking all my insufficiencies one on top of the other. I’m stacking my deck. No one else is! Why do I keep going back here? Why? Because I am so worn out, in pain, tired, frustrated, and COMPLETELY overwhelmed.
It is a simple song in terms of composition, not needing an orchestra of instruments and relying on a guitar and Smith’s husky voice. My heart breaks to listen to this song knowing that the musical genius who produced it, suffered from mental health and addiction issues and ended his life through self inflicted stab wounds – if that doesn’t tell you he was a tortured soul, I don’t know what would.
“Am I okay?” the question asks itself.
The mind retreats within to make reply
And eyes forever dart towards the shelf
(The cupboard open, fruit left out to dry).
Unsettled souls put back the oil of joy
And rifle through supplies to find the seed.
The memory bank’s a plastic, moulding joy,
Responsive to the anxious way we knead,
New lies put in for truth, new fears for peace.
For we transform the past each time we check,
And, moulding former years, these years can’t cease.
There’ll always be new jokers in the deck,
New ways to stop ourselves from singing praise
And counting blessings in these blessed days.
Because my grades were dropping, my parents started to put more pressure on me to pull myself together, and my friends started to wonder why I was pulling away from everyone, and finally, finally they got me to realise that something was wrong. I went to see the school counsellor and she said she thought I might have depression. I suppose I should have realised sooner, especially since my father had been going through pretty much the same thing, but it was still hard to accept this. To realise that there was really something wrong. That was kind of scary. But it was also a relief to realise that I was not alone, that what I faced had a name. And to realise that there was hope.
I recently had to attend a family gathering, which thankfully was at my own house so I actually had a bit of a chance of getting away to my own space. As we all know, family gatherings are just full of questions such as:
“Are you losing weight?”
“Did you gain weight?”
“Why aren’t you eating?”
“Are you on a diet?”
“Why aren’t you in school?”
“What are you doing now?”
“Do you have a job?”
And etc etc etc.
I feel like there are people keeping me in the unknown. There is a storm brewing in my minds full of egotistical delusional thought. Do I really think that I am important enough for people to conspire against? People come and go, people hide, and when they are hidden, I can not help but think it is so they can strike against me. People disappear from the online world, people that once liked me in real life, but due to the tides of fate, may not hate me, but want nothing to do with me, even though I care enough to check up on them occasionally and smile with their happiness and jokes. But one day they are just gone? without mention, rhyme or reason, they just… :poof: and it bothers me, I do not know why it strikes me so to my core. Perhaps it is due to my time in foster care, where people would come out of nowhere and side strike you, or perhaps I really do, in someway believe myself to be important enough to conspire against, I don’t know, all I know, is last year I didn’t feel like this, or well maybe it is better to say I didn’t feel this strongly. But it least I can count the number of people who really dislike me on my hands, so it is not over ten yet?
It`s hard, when everything`s in your own head. It`s not like a broken arm where you have the cast. It`s not like crutches, or a band aid, or even like the telltale signs of chemotherapy in case of cancer. These are at least somewhat more socially accepted. It`s okay to call in sick to work when you can`t get out of bed thanks to a flu. It`s not socially accepted to call in sick to work when you can`t get out of bed thanks to depression.
image from Angelica Cambridge