I have been very busy posting affirmation posts of late. I have not wanted to write about my mental health journey because I am trying to concentrate on finding the positives in my life and this is a 30 day challenge.
But I have needed to pour out some feelings today. It has been three weeks today since I was discharged from hospital for what is hopefully the final time. It certainly has not been all plain sailing. There have been mixed emotions and lots of negative headtalk. It has taken much courage from myself to steer through the dreadful dark cloud of negativity that I have dealt with. It is hard to not believe the rank and rancid thoughts your brain is telling you. I will share some of them for you. My brain tells me that I am an awful person who deserves no happiness. It tells me my kids and husband would be better off without me and sometimes it even tells me perhaps I should not be alive. I do not write this for your attention, sympathy or pity, but just to share and for your understanding. I can't help this headtalk. I have no control over it. I have learned skills to rationalise this talk but sometimes it is all encompassing.
I went for a walk on Tuesday morning after dropping the kids at school. It was a glorious day. In fact it was perfect. I was walking along the waterfront and all I could think was horrible horrible thoughts. Every step I took I fought my brain. I fought for mindfulness. I kept trying to turn the self-loathing hateful thoughts around and distract myself. Look at the sun sparkling on the water. You are hopeless. Smell the ocean breeze. How could anyone love you. Listen to the birds. Your family and friends don't want you. With every step, with every breath I was contradicting and fighting myself. It was not a pleasant peaceful walk. But I kept going and did not give in.
Last week it was looking pretty grim. It got to the point where I actually rang the hospital and I think if on that particular night had they had a bed I would have been re-admitted. In some ways I can say fortunately there was nothing available and I had to muddle through. It meant some change also to my personal routine. My poor husband had to spend a day at home to help keep me safe and he has now taken over dispensing all my medication.
It is awful when you are not in complete control of your own health. But the alternative is not good either. I got to a point where I was not safe managing the medication on my own. It took a full 48 hours for me to reach a level where I was back to almost the self I was when I came home from hospital three weeks ago.
I am still working through RET's which is Rational Emotive Thinking. I am trying to remember the CBT skills I learned and utilise them and turn my warped thinking around.
It has been a one step forward two steps back week but I am still here. I am still fighting and hopefully next week I will take two steps forward.
I write these truths because May is Mental Health awareness month. I totally am committed to my mental health and to removing the stigma attached to depression and mental illness. The people who seem the most odd to you are most likely the people who most need your tolerance, understanding and support. So for the rest of May if you could try to be more tolerant and understanding that would be awesome.