I follow “See Me“, the Scottish mental health charity. They do a lot of work, promoting mental ill-health in an attempt to “Stop the Stigma”.
I’m sure they’d be horrified by the title of today’s blog. I’m sure many of their supporters will be expostulating at their computer screens, shouting “No! You’re not different. You’re ill!”.
Let me explain the title of today’s blog.
Exactly 5 years ago, I was experiencing my first morning in the nuthouse. Now, I’m not being derogatory when I use that terminology; I spent 2.5 years inside a psychiatric hospital so I think I’m entitled to call it whatever I like.
Anyway; I was terrified and spent the entire day hiding from the deranged and crazy people. Until I realised that the vast majority of my fellow lunatics were just like me; people having a bad time. We were ILL.
When I entered the loony-bin, I was exhausted from dealing with THIS screaming baby the whole time (it wasn’t Porglet Minimus’ fault; she had food intolerances and acid reflux). I’d already been struggling for the previous year; moving to a new area, having to meet new people (never fun for me), trying to entertain a one-year-old Porglet Maximus, dealing with giving up work, in constant pain from pregnancy (really painful hip joints), the murder of my best-friend-from-school….is it any wonder I ended up totally depressed? Especially when my BPD was undiagnosed and untreated, so I spent most of my days feeling utterly overwhelmed without the slightest clue WHY I was feeling so cr*p.
Fast forward 5 years to now. I’ve been out of hospital for 2.5 years, the same amount of time as I was incarcerated. I’ve been diagnosed (it took a year, but we got there in the end) and spent most of 4 years in various forms of therapy. I no longer require help from group therapies. I no longer require weekly/monthly/bi-annual visits from the Community Mental Health Team. I no longer require a CPN (community psychiatric nurse) to “manage” my case. I no longer require help from my Brilliant Psychologist. I no longer require anti-depressants. I haven’t self-harmed or tried to kill myself in nearly 3 years.
YEARS. Not days. Not weeks. Not months. YEARS. If you’ll all pardon my French, I’ve sorted my sh*t out!
It would be really nice if more people recognised that fact and started treating me like a responsible adult, rather than the ILL PERSON I was back then.
Which brings me back to the title of today’s blog. See me. I’m different.