While others move on, graduate, get degrees, dissapear off on magical adventures, meet new people, pursue their careers and talents and dreams and become extraordinary, you are merely trying to survive.
You have been sick for so long that you forget what it means to be well. You have sacrificed school and uni and your job, not to mention friends and amazing opportunities and (it rather goes without saying) your health. Your days are filled, not with fun and freedom and the pursuit of happiness (or something like that), but with endless appointments, therapy, doctors visits, blood tests, meal plans from your dietician, psychiatric evaluations, and, perhaps, if you are unlucky (lucky?) enough, inpatient stays.
While others are moving on with their lives, you are desperately trying to cling on to it, life.
You have been so low that often you never thought you’d live to see another year, yet here you stand. You’re greatest achievement is this- you are alive. It is no mean feat, considering where you were/are. Despite all odds, you live and breathe. For someone with a mental disorder, this is an incredible achievement, but still, it fucking hurts.
To see your friends and the people you grew up with, living, actually, properly living, and all you can say is this; “I am alive”.
1841. I am right here and alive and luckier than so many other people with mental health issues and for today, this will have to be enough.
Feeling this really strongly at the moment.
I’m turning 24 this month, living with my parents, working a part-time minimum-wage job and struggling to cope with that.
A useful discussion of disclosing mental health problems at work… I found it useful, at least. It covers what constitutes disability, the employee’s rights, and the employer’s obligations. (At least in terms of UK legislation.) (FYI: conditions still count if you’re receiving treatment which relieves the symptoms, because those problems still exist; side-effects from medications count; you are entitled to reasonable adjustments.)
Helpful today, when I went into work to find a copy of the company’s Equal Opportunities policy in the staffroom for us to read and sign
and when I had to leave ten minutes early because I got a phone call from my CPN to tell me I was supposed to be in an appointment they hadn’t told me about
and when I came home and watched yesterday’s Panorama, about the messed up government work schemes.
I came home today to find a letter from my GP saying they think I should go in to the surgery. I don’t understand. It says they know I’m going to the cmht here. I’ve been in twice in the month I’ve been back. Why do they want to see me?
Yes, I am super-grateful as ever that they’re attentive and caring, and it’ll probably just be a checking-in-monitoring thing (hopefully?). I just don’t get it.
This morning I was back in the cmht offices. When I left in January I thought maybe I would never have to set foot there again, but things aren’t going that well.
Saw the gp today, and he got on to the cmht and was talking about getting me assessed by the duty team today, but instead I have an appointment with a psychiatrist on Thursday, someone I saw a few times last year.
I’m struggling to care about any of this. Hardly said anything in the appointment. Tired of it all. I’d rather be left alone.
This just stunned me- such a powerful image of doctors doing their duty
As a counterpoint to my last post, I will say that I have seen four excellent medical professionals this week, all of whom treated me well and a couple of whom routinely go out of their way to help me. There are so so many superb, responsible, caring, perceptive people out there doing good work. I’ve met a number of them, and I’m so grateful.
A Plea to Medical Professionals
When I come to you for treatment for self-injury please believe what I say. Please recognise that I am trying to act responsibly in a difficult situation. Please treat me gently. Please understand that I am scared. Please don’t assume you can gauge how much I am struggling by the severity of the injury. Please, if you can, offer me somewhere quiet to wait, and try to keep the number of different staff I see to a minimum.
When I come to you for treatment for self-injury please explain what you’re doing, and why. Please be aware that the words you use may be upsetting to hear. Please use anaesthetic and analgesia as appropriate, and consider whether antibiotics are necessary. Please don’t let me overhear you discussing me or my case. Please allow me the freedom to talk too. Please take any worries I share seriously.
When I come to you for treatment for self-injury please offer me further help and support, and please respect my decision if I decline. Please remember that, like anyone else, I am entitled to receive care and to refuse care. Please give me the same standard of treatment as any other patient. Please see that I am more than my injuries.
today: go to the surgery, collect prescription, make appointments, drop off letters. home, await cpn. maybe into uni for year meeting. home, do some work if there’s time, back to the surgery to see the practice nurse. home again, quiet evening.