20 March 2019

WHAT IS TOO MUCH?



All of Monday I was asking myself where I draw the line when I talk about mental health related subjects with you guys. It is one of those things where it is a little blurry because it is easy for people to assume that the only reason you are giving details is for sympathy, which in my case couldn't be further from the truth. 

All I am trying to do is help people. That is all. Nothing else. 

When I was really young and first started suffering these thoughts that I just couldn't explain, I just wanted to understand what was happening to me; as I got diagnosed and got more used to my pattern of feelings, I wanted to find out more information about if other people suffer from the same things, and I really struggled (back then) to find things that were not too clinical, because they made it feel too much and it was frightening. I guess that is where I am trying to fit in with these types of posts; to be a real voice, a voice in the moment with the issue, whatever moment that is (good/bad and in-between). Because it is really easy to feel like you are alone; like you have somehow mislead yourself and others about how you are feeling, or you are just being a bit over dramatic, which is the illness talking of course.

So I have been mulling over what to share here, how open to be, how much to really discuss, but then I made a decision this week that I would just talk about whatever I wanted to, because I want to give a transparent account of life with mental health issues: the good the bad and the really f**king ugly. 

I totally understand that many people just don't want to read about this stuff, so I won't be constantly posting about it. I am just in a phase right now where I have more to say, because it is something that is currently taking up a significant amount of my life and my energy. I'm in an 'ugly phase' at this moment in time; 99% of the time I am honestly so much better; but lately things have been spiraling and, a couple of weeks ago, they got so painful that I had to give in and go to the doctors.

I have been in that place many times before and have always got a hold on things before they took over me too much, but for whatever reason I just failed to do that. Recognising the vulnerability is half the battle, and being brave enough to say the words 'I need help' out loud, to a doctor, is much harder than most people think, but if you can do it, and you have a good doctor (which I can gladly say I do), then you will hopefully come away with a plan.



My doctor referred me to the mental health team and my assessment got pushed through much, much quicker than I thought it would. Yesterday, at 11am, I walked into the building and went through yet another assessment.

Before I say you more I want to say that the guy that assessed me was a very wonderful human, so anything I say is zero reflection on him, because he was great, but I am still pondering whether this whole 'let's put someone into one pigeon hole' thing is really working for us as a society in general. For some people it will of course, but I honestly think that for the majority of us, it can be total bullshit.

One of my very lovely friends, when checking on how I was doing, said something that I just thought 'hell yes, you are so right', and this is what it was: '...this is the problem, pigeon holing people. It's like there are only round holes, yet we've all got corners and strange angles that'll never fit, ever... Have you ever considered that you don't have a disorder, of any sort, it's just that you don't quite fit the socially ascribed framework...?' - genius and so true right?

I am not downing our NHS, they are amazing, but as a somewhat confused and a little bit of a poorly human being right now, I read the descriptions of the things they think I may have (which change with every assessment by the way), and I feel even more confused and, quite frankly, a little bit worse for it, because I do recognise some of the traits in, let's say 'Manic Depression', 'Bipolar' and also in the latest one I've been told to look at, 'Borderline Personality Disorder' and I think 'shit, I am broken!'. Hand on heart though, after hours of reflection and rationalising things yesterday, if we all look at the list of symptoms attached to each of the conditions I mention above, I think 90% of us will find things under each category that we will say 'yep, that's me', perhaps even multiple times over. Does that make us all a bunch of fruit loops? No, it makes us human.

Post assessment I now play the waiting game of 'let's see what a bunch of people, who have never met me, make of the notes from today's session and decide is wrong with me'; such a fun game to play!

It's not an easy journey, but let's remember that there is a place for everything. I have been 'in the system', so to speak, since roughly 14/15 years old, so for well over 20 years, but if you have never been diagnosed or opened up about your mental health, it is important that you do it. It can, and does, help many people. For me, as things stand right now, I think I am going to try and seek alternatives because I cope most of the time, I truly do; positive books, podcasts, people, blogs etc, all keep me on track. Where I need help is when the really dark thoughts set in, and I know there must be other routes to help that.

I still stand by the positive results I get from my medication, currently 40mg Fluoxetine a day, as it truly helps lift the fog, but doesn't numb my emotions to a point where I am a zombie; I am still very much the over-sensitive moron I have always been and I can live with that because it is who I am at my core and I don't want that to disappear.

There you have it, a bit of an update and an insight into my current state of mind. It is all a journey and life is full of chapters that test us, but it is how we choose to learn from them that counts and I am doing my best to beat this bugger of a... thing!
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2 comments

  1. It's all positive what you are doing, sharing all what you are going through/having to deal with, bringing things out into the open.
    Hats of to you Lucy. x

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  2. Hi lovely. I've followed your Instagram for a while (in a non stalker way lol) because you post the best photos of Cornwall and I love your work! I'm a fellow anxiety sufferer - been through (and am continuously up and down with) anxiety. Depression, post natal depression and insomnia have also shown up at really bad times and so I totally understand and respect your honesty! Just know you're not alone, and just take your time to journey through it. It's horrid and hard but it's because we are sensitive, emotionally understanding and creative beings. This is the pitfall that comes with those wonderful traits. Big hugs. Am always here if you want to chat. Amy from Dottypink. Xx

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