It’s been a rough weekend.
I had a total meltdown on Friday night
after a build up of stresses got the better of me. After taking my frustrations
out on my partner, I ran off taking the keys to the car and ended up in a park
down the road in the dark by myself sitting on a swing in a completely hysterical
state just crying.
Classic Bipolar episode, luckily I was
lucid enough to tell my partner where I was so he could walk to where I was, as I
was in no state to drive.
I’ve been stressed for weeks and it just got too much, a complete emotional overload.
I was stressed about dealings with a
creative agency I’d been trying to work with to get my blog to where I want it
to be within my small budget.
I was stressed about issues with my
parents and their separation and the toll it was taking on my relationship with
I was stressed about the house and
cleaning. I’d been stressed about my health and my
weight. I’d been stressed about my partner and his
I was stressed about my “coming out” and
the future of the work I’ll been doing wanting to educate about mental health
and reducing the stigma attached with it. I was especially stressed about what
people would now think of me. Even though I didn’t care. Or did I?
I was stressed about the violence in the
world and the future and everything I'd seen on the news.
I was been stressed about the lack of friends
I have, and the loneliness I felt at times.
Sadly, this is not an uncommon event. When
these stresses get too much I just “flip”, the emotions build up like a
storm and it explodes into a whirlwind of emotion and I just need to run away
It’s such an overwhelming sensation that
consumes me and feels like it will never end. Prior to my diagnosis, I use to
self medicate heavily when this happened.
Friday night, for the first time in many
years I returned to that behavior, my partner managed to find me after sculling
1 bottle of red wine. I was lucky.
Returning to this behaviour is indicative that I’m not coping
with things at the moment.
It took a little while for my partner to
calm me down, lots of hugs, loving words and assurances – but this is not easy,
and I was agitated and emotional for quite some time after.
Then, on Saturday, I heard about the tragic
loss of the amazing and beautiful Charlotte Dawson, who I had the absolute pleasure
of meeting once.
The outpour of grief on social media for
Charlotte was abundant and it was beyond incredible to see so many people talking
about mental illness and offering their support.
But then I started to get a
little angry and sad...
I started looking at profiles of
people/friends that I know who have known about my condition to see what they
had written, and again an outpouring of support saying things like "they will always be
there to support a friend or anyone in need if they are going through anything
or have a mental illness".
I was shocked. Not once had I ever received a
message, phone call, a visit from any of these people offering help or
support. And I was just one person on their life.
When you’re depressed, manic, anxious, or experiencing
any form of emotional despair, it can be hard to reach out and ask for help. Sometimes you don't even want to talk to anyone! As
a community, we need to be more aware of the signs and symptoms and be proactive.
It made me realise, it’s easy to type a few
words on your keyboard publicly “supporting mental illness”, it’s a completely
different story to be actively supporting the cause. If you know of someone who
has a mental illness, texting a friend to see how they are, offering to clean
their apartment or do the dishes when they can’t get out of bed, bringing over
food or cooking them dinner to make sure they eat. Getting them to have a
shower when they haven’t for days, lying next to them on the couch holding
their hand just so they can feel human contact. Or in my case Friday night,
walking for blocks to a park to make sure I was safe and not hurt.
That support, could save a life.
What you do in public is all well and good,
it’s what you do behind closed doors that matters.
If you need support,
contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800
Labels: mental health