10,593

This post is a pity-party of misery. You probably don’t want to read it, particularly if you’re feeling low yourself.

As of 8.15pm yesterday evening, I have existed on this planet for 10,593 days.

It means I’m now 29.

I remember once as a child, a friend and I talking about blokes we fancied. I genuinely don’t remember who I referenced in the conversation, but it was someone over 30 (I’ve always been attracted to older men. Indeed, The Man is 10 years older than me.) My friend posited that “30 [was] really old,” was I mad?! (Quite probably, but for entirely different reasons.)

I didn’t see being 30 as “old.” Much as still do as an adult, I’d sit there and imagine myself at the age I now find myself as someone successful, happy, witty, everything going for her.

Not as an overweight Venlafaxine addict with no career struggling with bills and state benefits and bi-fucking-polar disorder.

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Group Therapy?

So many ideas, so little motivation. My drafts folder is overloaded with stuff. I think of an idea, whip out my iPhone and note the idea plus some basic points about it down, then get back home and stare at the closed laptop in contempt, and go and do something else (until yesterday, that was mainly playing Dish0nored, although I’ve completed one ending of it now. Gamer? Go and buy it if you haven’t already done so!). Or, more frequently, nothing else.

I go through periods like this quite frequently, so if you’ve heard nothing from me on Twitter, on your own blogs, via email or in response to comments left here, it’s because I’m hiding from the world. It’s not that I’ve lost interest in any of I'll Be Backyou – never that. It’s just that my social awkwardness often extends into the online world, particularly when I’m feeling low. I wouldn’t describe myself as depressed as such, but I recognise that the symptoms of an episode are wider ranging that just mood. Not that I would describe said mood as sublime, having said that. Does that ever happen outside a manic episode? I don’t know what I believe about that any more – a subject of one of these billion unwritten posts, indeed. Anyway, sorry. To coin a cliche, it’s not you, lovely people; it’s me. The whole SAD thing doesn’t exactly help matters.

Anyway, I’ll be back!

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World Mental Health Day 2012

The below is pretty much an exact replica of a piece I wrote elsewhere for 2010’s World Mental Health Day. The facts remain essentially the same, and I have a different audience here, so I’ve decided it was worth posting on AtMoM in the spirit of awareness-raising and stigma-busting. It’s reprinted with permission, yakka yakka blah.

Today is World Mental Health Day.

Anything I can say on the subject will have already been much better said by others, so I will just add some facts, figures and information here.

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Psychosis vs Dissociation

I have 13 draft posts sitting in my WordPress dashboard (including, from 1st June, one entitled ‘Everyday Feminism’. A response to a wave of posts on feminism on other mental health blogs, this article was conceived and drafted well before I learned of the excellent ‘Everyday Sexism‘ project, which highlights exactly the same things as I’d set out to write about. Given the huge success of that site, I clearly missed a trick there 😉 Oh well; it’s entirely my own fault.) So, rather than try and complete one of those, I am of course embarking on an entirely new post. Obviously.

My therapist and I irritated each other today – indeed, he commented at the end of the session that it was “almost like we were arguing.” I responded by quipping, “you should have seen me arguing with my last therapist then.” It was intended as a compliment as it happens; my last therapist had a propensity for being an arsehole, and my current one generally doesn’t. I used to scream at, laugh at, sneer at, insult and on one occasion even threw something (my glasses) at my ex-therapist. I have never felt thus inclined with the current one.

However, as I was walking down the stairs out of the building, I realised that if anything I’d insulted him by reminding him of how volatile I could be with my ex-therapist (and not him). If that sounds perverse, then hear me out. My ex-therapist had (eventually) access to all of me; the good, the bad, and the very, very ugly. My current one often comments that he only occasionally sees any anger in me, yet he knows it’s very fundamentally there. He never sees psychosis, dramatic outbursts, personal attacks, blah de blah, and he wonders why.

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Four Years

Four years ago this morning, I took the morning off from my job in the Staff Development Department of a local organisation to attend a medical appointment, and never went back.

Four years ago yesterday morning, I was sitting in my office crying my eyes out to my poor assistant, telling him I couldn’t cope with work, with life, with anything any more. He was very tolerant, even though I made him cry too. Sorry mate.

Four years ago yesterday, after talking to my assistant, I knew enough was enough, and I rang my mother (again in floods of tears) and in psychological desperation, begged her to put an appointment on with my GP (the reasons for my inability to do this myself aren’t particularly important or interesting.)

And four years ago yesterday, after making that phone call, I dried my eyes and marched down to the Personnel Department to sort out an epic mess some idiot had inflicted upon us. I was efficient, solution-focused, capable and personable, and no one there that day would ever have guessed that they’d never see me again.

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