So, for some reason I always seem to process things by writing about them. And mostly those things have something to do with my mental health.
I have to say that generally in the past year I’ve been healthier mentally than I’ve been for many of my adult years, but I’ve also had enough stress to down a truly sane and normal person: I’ve moved to a new city, sold my condo, killed a car (and had to buy a new one), started a new job, and have moved three times (soon to be four). I also started a relationship and am in the process of ending it. If anyone thinks that I’m not capable, I’d like to give that person a swift boot in their bumhole.
So fast-forward to the 23rd of December: things with the bf aren’t good; my job isn’t going as well as I’d like and I needed support from my bf, and instead I get (more or less) yelled at for not ‘fixing the problem’ right away. I take time away, go for Christmas with family (and not him) and think things are okay, and think that we might be able to live as roommates. No sleepovers of opposite sex people, of course, so we can both maintain a certain level of sanity.
I don’t know what set me off – knowing that my ex was definitely on the prowl, knowing that he wasn’t interested enough in me to put any effort into making this work, or knowing that I was going to have to move *again* because we moved in together too quickly (or maybe completely in error). See, back when my brain wasn’t working too good, being alone was preferable: there were zero expectations, I didn’t disappoint anyone by not living up to their standards, and – for the most part- I really could barely handle carting my butt around let alone looking after anyone else’s needs. But I’ve realized in my wisdom that I miss that when my brain is doing well: I miss people, being close to people, that contact. And I didn’t think I’d find that again, with anyone. So admitting to myself that I might have made this relationship into more of a thing than it was was also difficult to take.
But the “why” of the situation isn’t really so important – the situation itself unfolded. I started crying on the Saturday, and I didn’t stop. I would just start breaking down for no reason. I started to look at the tasks in my life and couldn’t deal with the basics: I sent my boss an email and said I’d have to back away from a volunteer-ish project that I was working on because I couldn’t devote any of my personal time to finishing the tasks in the next month because I was going to have to work on stablizing a few things in my personal life. I got into work that morning, and all my boss said was that she was “disappointed”, along with a few other words about this, but for some reason that set me off crying. All I could think about was losing my job, losing my relationship, losing my accommodation and it was too much. I just wanted to finish with everything right then and there.
But I knew better. I knew in my brain that I needed help and it couldn’t wait because those funky (not good funky) thoughts were creeping in, and I couldn’t handle that at all.
Luckily, I could call a few hotlines and see about getting some immediate help, and luckily they had space available as well. I was able to get in to see someone that day, I got some increased meds, and got to do a bit of talking as well. Their follow-up is fabulous, and I think I’ll be looking at doing a bit more on-going therapy, but this is the first time that I’ve really had an integrated medication/ therapy approach to my mental health – and so far I dig it.
But the scariest part of this whole episode, which seemed to come and go in a matter of days, was that return to that part of my brain that I thought was long gone. I thought that I had conquered those demons, and I felt like I was slipping back into old patterns and I think that – more than any kind of suicidal thoughts – scared me into action. I’d been pretty much free of any kind of horrific brain blip for probably a few months for sure, if not more than a year, and even a few days of that level of brain functioning was unbearable. How on earth did I live like that for the years that I suffered? It was strange to think of it from that perspective, that perhaps some big ticket life events (relationship break-up, job not great, need to find housing) can be a trigger for a lack-lustre mental state: no shit hey?
So now, after some therapy, I realize that my living situation (as a roomie with an ex) isn’t the healthiest for my mental health, so I’m moving out. I don’t regret moving in quickly, or with the person that I did, because I took a chance with emotions that I wouldn’t have done even a year ago. I just wish it would have worked out or worked a bit better. But sometimes you have to move on – I’m in an ‘adjustment period’ they say. I feel like I was very much adjusted. Hopefully the rest of 2015 is kind, boring and easy.
I write this in honour of the Bell Let’s Talk Day. I’m pretty open about my mental health, and the problems that I have had. I do get judged for that, as well as a few other things, but hopefully us talking about our problems and what mental health looks like for those with these conditions, it means that kids coming up might not need to deal with the same kind of stigma that we deal with today. Hopefully?