Tuesday, August 14, 2012

When You Can't Feel Better

Those who also deal with "mental illness" may be able to relate to this. Inevitably when some people hear that you deal with depression, anxiety, bipolar, phobias, schizophrenia or another illness, they may say something like "tomorrow will be another day," or worse "the sun will come out tomorrow," or worse still, "there's a reason behind all this you know."

Those of us who deal with mental illness often want to give a swift kick to the groinal region of the person who has just offered up such "wise words."

The truth is, that while there may be nuggets of truth in what they're saying, their timing sucks.

The truth is that sometimes you can't see through to the other side, when everything will be better. Often this is because that "better time" hasn't shown its face in weeks, months or even years.

The truth is we just feel like I pile of steamy, ooey gooey shit and words often aren't enough to snap us out of it.

Currently I'm on the swings at the parkette: for a couple days I'll be up, and then for a few days I'll be down. Guess where I am tonight.

You just feel like you're putting in time, like you're watching the world pass you by and you're just watching it from a café window.

  1. Suggestions: Realize that millions of Canadians and others around the world deal with some form of mental illness. There's nothing to be ashamed of, you're not crazy.
  2. Seek professional help: It doesn't make you crazy if you seek professional help or go into the psych ward; it means you're smart enough to reach out and get some help. It IS out there. 
  3. There's nothing wrong with taking medication for your illness. I take several.
  4. Try to have a core group of friends and/or family who you can pick up the phone and talk to. They are key.
Also, allow yourself to have your fucking shitty days, like I've been having lately. As long as you are safe, - and that's of utmost importance - feel how terrible you're feeling, don't try to gloss it over, it will eventually pass. But enjoy it while it lasts. Sometimes I like feeling like shit; it allows me to have the double chocolate muffin at Coffee Culture.

You can feel better. But don't feel bad about feeling like shit either.

Mark Andrew Alward

  • chronic depression with episodes of major depressive disorder
  • mixed anxiety disorder, including general anxiety and OCD.
  • bi-polar II


Writer said...

Very good words. Thank you, they helped pick me up today :) There sadly is so much stigma out there in the would against people with depression and the like. I find myself being treated as though I was the disease and not a human being. People like myself may have an illness, but we are not the illness. Like the common cold, which has symptoms like coughing, our symptoms are sadly erratic behaviour. To people who read this, don't give up on someone you know who suffers from depression. Sometimes its as simple as being there, nothing more. We can be a handful at times, but we are still human beings and although our conditions may make us do silly things at times, remember that that is not who we really are.

Mark Andrew said...

Thank you for your words to both people who deal with depression, etc, and people whose reaction may be unhelpful.