This is a difficult post for me to write. Even when you really want to express to others an honest perspective of living with mental illness, it’s so easy to shy away and hide when things are at their worst and everything feels so bloody awful. Shame kicks in alongside the tsunami of negative thoughts and beliefs that depression often brings with it. All you want to do is shut yourself away from the world and distance yourself from all the people you need the most.
Last week things seemed to hit breaking point. It was like something in my head finally gave way and everything mentally that I was desperately trying to hold together began to crumble. I broke into an angry, desperate, helpless sobbing mess.
It’s a difficult thing when you feel yourself hurtling towards rock bottom, when life has pushed you way past your threshold but somehow you are managing to look okay. It hurts to breathe but you can force a smile on your face. Years of practice means that even though inside you literally feel like you’re suffocating and can’t bear to be alive anymore, you can still act like everything is just fine and you don’t need help. I have become very good at masking my true emotions and having a dissociative disorder helps with this. My alters can help me keep up with the facade. The downside, of course, is that it makes it very difficult to ask for help and convey how desperate you are truly feeling. It confuses people when you look okay but you are trying to tell them that you are exhausted, desperate, overwhelmed and struggling to cope. It means that you often get mistaken for being over dramatic, exaggerating or selling yourself short.
I’ve been told by mental health professionals in the past that my crises have a rapid onset but I know this isn’t true. My mental decline happens gradually but I don’t seem to physically show it until it’s all way out of my control. I can tell people I’m in a bad place but if I’m well-presented and coherent who is going to believe me?
I’ve been feeling things slipping for quite a while now but I’m trying with all my might to stop things slipping even further. It’s difficult to force yourself to fight on when you just want to stop. I’m working hard for my children and my wife who needs me to be there for her. As I’m writing this I’m on my way to a peer-support group and exhausted by the mere effort of getting up and dressed, pushing through the mist of depression and the assault to my senses that a constant stream of auditory and visual Hallucinations brings. I’m hoping if I just keep dragging my dead weight of a body through the passing days and weeks that eventually the dark clouds with start to lift and I can start to see light again.