I feel there has to come a point when if you’re willing to put your work out into the world, that you allow yourself to be open to criticism from a personal point of view. Not that I’ll ever be famous enough for anyone to make any money from ‘kiss and tells’ or anything equally as interesting, but for the sake of my sporadic postings of late, I feel I owe an explanation.
I am currently signed off work with anxiety and depression, both of which seem to come with the territory with us ‘artistic’ types (that’s my excuse anyway) and due to changes in my meds (i.e hell on earth) things have been a little weird my end. Coming off one drug is a painful, horrible thing. Withdrawal is hell and even worse for those around you. I am lucky to have an incredibly supportive friend/soulmate/other (it’s complicated) who puts up with a lot. So that was a whole couple of weeks of fun for all the family. Then they gave me the new pills, and I am semi comatose 90% of the time. Yesterday I fell asleep at 8.30pm and woke up at 3am seriously freaked out due to being fully clothed and the light being on. I nap almost constantly at present and when I am awake, I have very little idea of what is going on, so my apologies for not being on here as often as I would like.
I to and fro-ed with the idea of putting this up here, but after some delightful (i.e hateful, narrowminded and petty) comments made by workmates, I figure mental illness is underrepresentated, misunderstood and taboo. Where I work, it’s ok to be racist. In fact, you’re in the minority if you’re not. My friend and I have walked out on several occassions in disgust at the intollerance and vile jokes bandied around like it’s ok. But if you mention ‘depression’. ‘mental illness’ or anythign of the like, you are suddenly treated like you have something contagious and are likely to ‘go postal’ and kill them all. I have worked with these people for three years. I considered some of them friends, but not one has enquired after my health in a genuine way. They seek gossip and fuel for their sad, empty lives. They have the misguided idea that whilst I am off work, I am having the time of my life. Far from it. These last few months have been the very worst of my life. I’m not telling you this for sympathy or pity, but solely that 1 in 3 people will face a mental illness at some point in their lives and ridicule is unacceptable. If you’re reading this and have the dreaded ‘D’ word, it’s ok. Suffer from Anxiety? You’re in good company, we struggle just to function in a world that has no time or energy for us, and each day that we get out of bed and leave the house is a victory. Each day we look some narrow minded hateful person in the eye and smile when they insult us, we’re stronger than you could possibly comprehend. So if you find out someone you love has depression or schizophrenia or anything awful like that, please don’t shut them out because you don’t understand or are afraid, because I can guarantee that they probably fear for their lives. Living with your worst enemy is hell, and when you’re worst enemy is your own mind, there’s nothing like it.
Love and hugs, especially those of you out there struggling to make it through each day.
‘Be still and know, that even in the darkest times, the light will find you.’