Present in my life

Diary, Mental Health

It’s been quite a tumultuous few months in my head, brain chatter has been loud, so much has changed around me that I have found it difficult to cope.
I’ve had conflicting thoughts about why this was happening to me, and because I am adamant that I need to be well, to get to the bottom of it, I guess I needed a reason to find the rational, I may have been pushing too hard to find it.
I tend to be quite open and honest in my writing, it’s hard to write about mental health if I hide, or delete what I have written, because then I give a false account of my story and lived experience. This blog feels particularly hard, because I try and keep people close to me out of it, or as vague as possible, as I do not want to hurt them or create rifts and tension within our relationships. At my last sessions of counselling, we talked about my childhood, and how I felt put down, unloved and a huge failure. Consequently I have tried my hardest to love everyone I am close to, I know I am loyal, and caring, and try to see the best in people, because I want reassurance and love too. It would seem that in my desire to achieve this, I become dependent, and disappointed when others don’t love, reassure and care for me in the same way. I have been described as difficult. To hear someone I care about call me difficult made my heart break. If anything, it has made me realise, that if I am to be judged this way, then I need to reassess myself and the way I approach people. Instead of feeling like I have done something wrong, that I am to blame for not receiving the care and attention I give so easily, I have to realise that others do not necessarily know how to reciprocate, that they may give their love differently, or that they only see the negative in me too.
When I think of support, for mental illness is an ugly thing, it comes at a price. If you are to support someone with mental illness, there may be times when you will see that person hurting, crying, acting out, angry and frustrated, seeing only the worst, losing interest in life, believing they are not worthy. There may be times when it seems they are being strong, but all of that is hidden behind a self deprecating fa├žade. There may be times when it seems like it’s all a lie, and they are carefree and happy. The price is that the friend becomes a number of things, and although it is not a requirement, in my view, that the support is there to fix things or be a psychologist, support to me is as simple as saying ‘you ok?’, making cups of tea, and getting you out of the house when the walls are closing in on you.
Going back to the earlier point of being ‘difficult’, I realise that if I have chosen the wrong person to place the label of support on, then if I don’t receive it I cannot push for it. However much it may hurt me that I am called difficult and challenging, I guess I have to realise that I am not to blame if there are walls around friends who are unable to deal with the complexities of mental health. I don’t fault them for this, for everyone has their own limits, it is for friends to accept those limits.
Moving forward, instead of remaining hurt by all the loss I have experienced in the last few months, the departing of strong networks I have been part of, something I still have issues dealing with (which is clearly evident in my handling of situations), I need to focus on now. I have formed new friendships, I have found new respect, and I’m creating positive outcomes with and for others. Trying to change the past, and hold onto something that has disintegrated is not conducive to a good recovery.
I can forgive, because people can change, I guess I can change. I sometimes remove myself from situations to protect myself when I am feeling fragile and my sensitive head becomes overwhelmed with negativity. It does not mean I will never be open to dialogue, because I’m happier when things are positive and there is no conflict. The inner workings of my head are tangled, I sometimes cannot fathom one need to the other, but what I do understand is ultimately whilst I can get frustrated I do not hate, whilst I am not free from fault I am willing to grow. And that can only happen if I focus on the positive that is present in my life.