Saturday, October 11, 2014


This week I had a change made to my many medications. It's too early to tell if it's helping, and it means blood tests and all sorts of unpleasant things, but my attitude to medication has always been 'whatever might help' and I trust my specialist. It was made after I had to beg my mother to drive me to my specialist's office for an appointment I was offered very last minute (when I should have been at uni) because I was having trouble leaving the house. 

This is not uncommon. I have spent the better (and worse) part of the last few weeks holed up in my bedroom, ordering home delivery food or just having sandwiches, alternately binge watching TV or curled in a foetal position. My anxiety is such that I am having trouble getting to work, the few hours I do work, getting to uni, for the few hours I need to front for, and seeing people generally. I spent my 31st birthday distressed and alone, although this was mostly because my sister bailed on me in the evening for a movie. My head is barely above water right now.

I'm being this brutally honest because it's Mental Health Week and hey, why the hell not. I write this not to attract pity, but rather to try and explain what it's like to live with a mental illness that just won't piss off and leave me alone. It's an illness that has me in its grasp so firmly that it feels like my life will always be this way, that my life will be an endless cycle of doctors' appointments, takeout food, the odd trip to uni or town for a class or a meeting with a friend, and curled up in bed just wishing to be held and loved for just a little while by the right person. It's getting worse, not better.

My new medication arrived in a heavy bottle (home delivered, of course), filled with 250 of the tablets that are meant to help alleviate this dread and anxiety which rules my behaviour so entirely. For some reason this surprised me - I had always expected this medication to be in wafer thin blister packs, in quantities of 25 or so at a time. Instead it's this substantial bottle you could whack a mole with, and one which keeps drawing my eye to my bedside table. 

For me, my illness dictates that my entire existence is predicated on the idea of tomorrow. I HAVE to believe that tomorrow will be a little easier, a little more manageable. That I can get a jump on the day and leave the house and face the world. Without this belief, the simple truth is that I just wouldn't be alive. I have to believe that if I try hard enough, that if things get just a little better, then there's a suitable job and life waiting for me, one that doesn't involve quite so much anxiety and guilt. Tomorrow it will be better. 

Because it has to be.