“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Why write a blog?
I have struggled with my mental health since I was in my early teens. Depression and anxiety, initially. I just accepted them as a part of me. Like that Uncle who has one too many at Christmas and starts pulling the skeletons out the closet, I was convinced they were like family: You just have to put up with it.
I found plenty of ways to cope (some healthy, some not so much) and had a pretty great Twenties: I lived and loved in many different places (I meant more geographically, you deviant – though that too), made connections with the most beautiful people and music and literature and nature. I am very grateful.
But that Uncle, he started drinking all weekend, then on the week nights, until he was pouring himself a large glass first thing in the morning. I had never called him on his shit all those years back, instead I ignored it and put up with it and tried to hide it and so my mental health got worse and worse.
The past three years, I have become very lost. The mental illness, the self-medication and behaviours that come with all of that have pushed most people away, while others just didn’t want to know. It cost me my job and put the few that stuck by me through a lot of pain. I have behaved in ways I never thought I could and I have felt things I never thought I would.
Recently, I have been diagnosed with a Bipolar disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder. Tomorrow, I begin a course of Lamotrigine, an anti-psychotic / mood stabiliser, with a long-term view of being treated with Lithium. As well as this, I will explore different talk therapies, support groups, lifestyle changes and learn from the wisdom and experiences of others.
I no longer want to look for something external, be it drink or drugs or relationships or food, to fix me. I need to look internally. Let go of my ego, guilt and shame.
I will search for Grizzly Man. Learn who he is and see if I can show him some love again. Or maybe for the first time.
So this blog is for me, mostly. A place to put my thoughts and feelings, to reflect and journal my treatment and recovery. But I also want others to feel a little less alone, if I can.
Before I go, I need to mention the huge support I have received from Elefriends. It’s an online community set up by the good folks at Mind as a safe and supportive space for anyone struggling. It is anonymous and confidential and you can share as much or as little as you like. The people there are some of the most wonderful human beings I have ever met. If you think it might be of use to you, go to: http://www.elefriends.org.uk
Here’s to tomorrow. I’m coming for you, Grizzly.
Peace and love xx