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I find it oddly funny that I’ve spent weeks thinking about starting a blog and now I’m here I have no idea how to start! The purpose of it is firstly for me to have an outlet where I can be totally honest, and maybe change people’s opinions of mental illness. We’re not all crazy, unstable, dangerous people! You could walk past me in the street a thousand times and never know I’m ill. I’ve spent the past 8 years of my life battling depression, psychosis, PTSD, borderline personality disorder and a more recent diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. Less than 5 people in my life know I’m ill, because I can’t trust people to protect my feelings and understand I’m still the person they know and my illness doesn’t define me.

I find that other peoples opinions are one of the things that bother me most about my illness, I spend a lot of time believing I’m crazy, mental, abnormal etc. it’s not something I need to hear or experience from other people.

Educate yourselves! One in four people in the United Kingdom will suffer with a mental illness every year.

I’ve spent a lot of time, learning all the facts and statistics trying to come to terms and find peace with my illness. Not that it works that well. I struggle everyday just to get through the day, as soon as I wake up it starts, in my druggy haze from the medication the night before. First is the anxiety at the thought of having to face another day and wondering how bad it’s going to be today. Then it’s the voices, all the nagging, negative, positive, psychotic voices, some of which have become enemies, some of which are friends.

Every now and then I have what’s called a ‘psychotic episode’, I’ve had a few of these in the past 8 years, the past 6 months or so they’ve been more frequent and a lot stronger than before.

Most recently I became convinced I could control the weather, and as if to reinforce this my moods started to match the weather. If I was sad it would rain, if I was happy it was sunny, anger caused wind, hysteria caused storms and thunder, now I realise my mind was playing tricks on me and I was changing my mood to match the weather, not the other way around!

There is also the recurring belief I’m being watched and listened to everywhere I am, I quite regularly search my flat for hidden cameras and recording devices. I am convinced that all my friends and family are in on this and they are all conspiring to have me sent away or killed.

During these ‘episodes’ I don’t sleep, eat, wash, see anyone or speak to anyone. I only converse with the voices in my head and take part in silly rituals they ask me to, like banging my head off the floor because if I don’t I’ll die and sitting in complete darkness and silence because ‘they’ll’ catch me otherwise. It’s all completely irrational and when I’m of sound mind like now, I can understand that. When illness takes hold though, it’s completely consuming.

I get through it all by being heavily medicated, which I hate. Anti-depressants, anti- psychotics, tranquillisers, and cannabis.

I feel I briefly need to justify the use of the drug that supposedly causes mental illness. My prescription medications strip me of any real feeling and personality. They space me out, I have no attention span and struggle to hold a proper conversation. So far cannabis has been the only thing I’ve found that enables me to feel confident enough to socialise (within a very small group of friends) and to feel happiness and to laugh, and that is honestly the best medicine sometimes.

Now I feel like I’ve got all the background story out there I can focus on how I’ve felt today and how I feel now.

I spent the majority of my day today worrying that I’m completely drug dependant now. If I’m even a couple of hours late with medication I instantly know about it, it’s like a fuzzy, edgy feeling and I’m fidgety like there’s something trapped inside me trying to get out. Thinking about this led me onto another thought…

I can’t win either way.

Drugs = dependency on something to feel somewhat normal, which is depressing because I’d like to be strong enough to manage my own mind.

No drugs = a complete mental mess, which is depressing because I’d like to be strong enough to manage my own mind.

No matter how I look at it, I feel like there’s something wrong with me as a human being because I’m not strong enough to manage and control my own mind.

I feel useless, and broken. Like something wasn’t put together quite right inside me.

My thought train got totally out of control realising I can’t win either way, it led me to think about suicide for the 100th time this week, it’s a thought that never completely leaves me. It’s ALWAYS an option.

It’s strange to think about suicide as an option though, because honestly I don’t want to die, I’m a hopeful person, hopelessly romantic and a bit of a hippy according to friends haha! I find beauty in small things like the smell of rain, the colour of flowers, children’s laughter. Sometimes I look around me and realise that despite all the bad bits, all the bits you want to skim over, the world and life is beautiful. Sometimes you just have to look for it.

Referring back to hopefully changing people’s opinions of mental illness; I hope that if anyone is reading this they realise I’m a normal person, I’m just ill. The best way I’ve ever heard it described is cancer of the mind, more common than we’d like, mostly treatable and devastating. You wouldn’t judge someone badly for having cancer would you?

L x