Pre-amble….. I’m not very good at not just launching myself into my blogging. By which I mean when I read other peoples blogs they have a nice pace, do introductions etc – they do writing that doesn’t just fling you in at the deep end, sorry I’m not so good at that. Hold your nose we are going in… fair warning I’m talking about me a lot. And it’s pretty personal.
So today I’ve been thinking about my recent mental health experiences. I’ve had a pretty horrible 12 months, truth be told. Spent most of the early part of 2017 with a nasty bout of labyrinthitis which you may or may not know is a disease of the inner ear. This affected my balance massively and was exhausting to live with. All my energy was taken up with just getting through the day without falling over. If you have it you have my empathy and understanding.
It took me months to recover from this, then depression and anxiety hit me, I began to question my value as a human. I’d barely worked for months, and although my employment was unaffected they were very good to me, my self-worth waned. That being said it was never that great to start with. By November of 2017, I was in a really weird place mentally. Suffering from obsessive repetitive OCD like ideas, and PTSD from unresolved childhood issues really took hold, thankfully I have amazing friends who made me see a doctor. I wasn’t ready to jump under a bus, but somedays I felt like an accidental bus squishing could only be a good thing. Pretty sad huh? I was sad, and I was obsessing about things of little consequence, ridiculous things it seems to look back. It makes me mad when people make OCD jokes like such mental anguish could ever EVER be funny.
I managed to get myself referred for some CBT if you don’t know what that is it stands for cognitive behavioural therapy – and it’s pretty hard work, and I’ll be honest you need a bit of bravery to look at yourself this way. I’ve done 8 sessions so far, each one hard and found it the most profoundly painful experience, but it has been worthwhile in building coping strategies for when I am being triggered – another word I don’t like jokes being made about. Triggers are real things, real upsets, not to be joked about. And although it is not the aim of CBT, CBT has helped me acknowledge the source of the problems, the unresolved traumas of my childhood. I have no intention of detailing them here btw, but they are pretty horrible, and they have been hidden away in shame for years. They have clouded my everyday life for years without being confronted, tainting a lot of experiences, misrepresenting the truth of lots of situations. I am confronting them now — they need to be exorcised, like a poltergeist who is moving all your stuff behind your back. You don’t understand what is happening until it all clicks together, then that ghost better start packing its bags because the spotlights are out. You can’t heal a wound without examining it, and sometimes that examination will hurt badly. But it’s a worthwhile endeavour to know you can fall asleep at night without wondering why you are so continually hurt and damaged by the world.
I won’t say I’m out of the woods completely, and somedays I feel like I am still grieving for myself and the wasted years, I have cried for the child within me because she did nothing to deserve that pain. That being said I do feel like I am ready to move on with a lot of things, to change a lot of things that I have been frightened of change. Fearing the unknown because the little things I was holding onto might have been swept away by those changes.
The world is a very different place for me now compared with 5 or 6 months ago. I can’t control everything and that’s ok now. I just have to let it go. I am feeling more positive, and things can get better. Sometimes you just need a little help to get through these things. There’s no shame there.