Wednesday, 19 May 2010

So, Mental Illness or What?

In light of all the previous, how has my mental health actually been? And in light of all the previous, how would I interpret previous 'episodes'?

First off, how have I been? Well I've been sleeping reasonably well since mid March, averaging my usual six hours. Since the latest family horribleness kicked off and before I finally accepted the inevitable, I was consumed with anxiety, anger, fear, sadness, despair and a strange growing dissociated strength. Once I had made the decision the marriage was over, the predominant feeling was just horrid stress and anxiety - a fear that I would be clawed back in, sucked back into my socially conventional role as gagged and bound useless ox - fear of the MH services being used against me too reared its ugly head. However, as you know, I kept myself together, and secured my discharge. I've since been phoned by a friend who is a psych - he was checking up on me under the guise of friendly support, and he agreed with me when I told him I felt saner than I have for years, and nodded that he found it surprisingly common when tempestuous relationships finally end.

Things were pretty bad when I stayed at my coz's - another high expressed-emotion household!!! - too close to both K and myself - I needed neutral ground, hence my current stopgap playing lodgers shuffling beds at my old landlady's from 20 years ago.

Now I'm pretty calm, though still subject to stress and shaking when vile strife gets flung my way. Learning to ride through that with calmness now. I'm holding my head up. Currently in the phase where friends drop away like flies fearful of being infected by the poisoned turd that is yrs truly. They're waiting for me to back down and do the decent thing. I've done that too many times before, and then I did it some more. Never again.

Practicalities: I need to get on with my life, can't afford a car, a car is essential to see my boys - can't afford deposit on a flat, and a flat is essential to have boys over to stay - therefore I'm taking the plunge back into work whether it's a good idea or not. No choice! I hope without the marital stresses I will be up to it again.

And as for the past. What, if anything, was actually wrong with me?

Yeah, I don't deny there is a manic depressive 'type' - but as you know I don't subscribe to the 'illness' model. For me, I've always been friendly, gregarious, generous, adept, versatile and kindly - always have been prone to 'enthusiasms' and probably always will be - always had a nihilistic streak that is a support as often as a curse - suicide has always been a companion since my childhood - I've always seen vividly and experienced things that aren't de facto there, but if a hallucination has any validity as illness it should cause distress and be mistook for reality - I know things aren't real, and they don't bother me. I don't think any of the above makes me mad.

But pile a steaming heap of traumatic stress on top, and I'm not surprised I go manic now and again. I strongly suspect there is a grain of truth in the 'manic defence' theory.

All of which makes me doubt my diagnosis. I'm discharged, been off meds for over a year - not lost it over the last twelve months either. I think I've been reacting to various degrees of social intolerableness to differing degrees.

Oh well, hope all are well - a pain having this private - anyone know how to make the feeds update?

Take care all, x

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