This post is not intended to shock, nor do I want pity or sympathy.
There are people I love dearly who suffer with mental health issues.
I suffer with poor mental health occasionally.
I endure bouts of depression.
I have suffered, on and off, for as long as I can remember.
This is my experience of a day in one of those bouts.
My intention is to give a small insight - in the hope it helps one person feel less alone, or one person understand a little more what it might be like.
This is my truth.
Yours may be different.
It’s been a funny old couple of weeks.
Not in the haha way.
Maybe in the haha way.
I guess it’s all just a matter of perspective.
And whether you were on the receiving end.
Last Saturday was a new low.
It’s just been a REAAAALLLLLLLLLY long week since then.
Colleagues have looked at me, wondering what might fall out of my mouth next.
Occasionally wondering if my truth will be aimed at them.
I have wondered if my darkest thoughts might fall out of my mouth….. And what the consequence of that might be.
My filter hasn’t been working very well.
My filter hasn't been working very well at all.
And I’ve been a bit dead behind the eyes.
My spark has vanished.
Thoughts have been falling out of my mouth with astonishing rapidity.
There has been a running commentary to my life.
My inner monologue has been my outer monologue.
Properly honest thoughts….. ones like…..when a man was bouncing round his girlfriend during Wilmslow Half, announcing ‘i've got loads of energy left, what's up with you?’ (she was clearly on her arse)
She told him it was hard - that they were at 6 miles and it was too hard.
He told her she needed to change her play list.
I announced (a bit too loudly?) that her playlist was fine, but she probably needed to change her boyfriend.
This blog / outpouring is probably part of the same thing - my inability to appropriately filter my thinks, sprinkled with a touch of self harm.
I have waited though - until it is safer, at least.
People do not need to know my business or my bonkersness.
And then I wonder, will it help someone else?
And then I think, will it help me?
And then I think, nobody will ever speak to you again after they have read it, they will know for certain you are a fruitbat.
And then i think, this is my blog for me and I don’t actually care what you think.
There are all of the thinks.
They come simultaneously
Layer upon layer of chatter.
Some of it, properly meaningless drivel.
Some of it, desperately hard to ignore.
All the while I am having these thinks, there is a layer of sound, planning how best to kill me.
We could throw her off Suicide Bridge over the M62
Thats no good, think of the drivers.
She’s only just got over the height thing - that feels a bit cruel.
Run away and do it.
If you don’t want to upset the M62 users, think of the person who would find you if you hung from the TRX anchor point.
Where would you run to?
You would have to wear matching underwear. Signe would never claim you otherwise.
You could poison yourself before you drive off somewhere.
Then hang yourself
But stab and skin yourself first.
Imagine how good it will feel when the knife slide into your bicep.
My bicep? That’s new.
And so it goes on.
All of the noise.
When I am half well, I know it isn’t real.
When my filter works a bit, I know it is there, chattering in the background.
But I can filter it out.
I can make the volume work and while it is there, I don’t have to listen to it.
But when I am properly poorly?
Oh my god.
The filter becomes useless.
The volume is up to 47.
I cannot filter what falls out of my mouth and I cannot filter the things I pay attention to.
If I’ve said ‘say words at me’ once this past 2 weeks, I’ve said it a million times.
I don’t hear what is being said.
And when I do, I don’t understand it.
My brain is too busy hearing how I should impale myself on some railings.
It’s all too hard.
Fucking hell, you want me to respond.
What was the question?
DO NOT say what you ACTUALLY think.
Oh my god I’m exhausted.
Those words actually fell out of my mouth.
I don’t know what the question was and I don’t care.
MAKE IT STOP
The relentless noise makes everything so very very hard.
Working out which socks to wear.
Actually having clean socks.
Getting out of bed.
I have been so very paralysed by the noise in my head, sometimes, I can’t actually move.
Which is great.
Apart from when you need to do things.
Like go to the toilet.
When you’ve been in the same spot for over 15 hours.
Or get dressed after swimming in open water.
Whole-body inability to move is a thing.
A very scary, very real thing.
Less scary when you are trapped under the duvet.
But still scary even then.
I have to take all the energy I have in my whole body, and focus it on the limb I want to move.
It is exhausting.
All the while, there is noise screaming to be heard.
I have the worst headache.
I’ve had it for a few weeks now.
My head feels like it is filled with helium and is lifting the top of my scalp.
My crown is consumed with pressure from the inside.
Did i mention the noise?
I set off last saturday to do my last long run before the marathon.
I was doing 16 miles, 18 if I felt good.
That was the plan.
The plan in my diary that had been out there before ‘this’
The sun was shining, but I struggled to get out of the house (and bed, and dressed, you get the idea)
I wasn’t feeling the love.
I wasn’t feeling anything.
Well, I was.
I was feeling like I had disconnected from myself and there was a part of me, floating, high in front of my body.
My soul was made of helium and threatening to leave myself, it was tethered by the thinnest sliver of a thread.
And a desperately heavy heart.
Made of lead.
My heart was heavy and my head was empty.
I couldn’t make the 2 things work together.
How the hell was I meant to run 16 miles?
I got to the canal (yay!) and found myself in the midst of a local marathon.
This will either be brilliant or awful.
Someone I used to go to school with shouted my name.
He thought I was running the marathon.
Haha people thought I was almost finished.
I couldn’t even manage one mile.
That does wonders for your sense of failure - when people think you’re doing awesome and you’re actually in bits and a massive fraud.
I cried in the first mile.
I couldn’t pick my feet up and propel myself forward.
The layers of noise were immense.
I was hyper sensitive to all things.
There were shoots of green among the woods and trees.
Birds singing, chirruping, chattering, squawking.
Spring was doing that thing that spring does.
JUST STOP THE NOISE
The noise that should be pleasant, that should be happy was irritating me.
I didn't have any music with me.
My head noise starts again.
You need to cancel everything.
You’re a failure.
Your legs don’t work.
Just slice them like we told you to.
You’ve got razor blades at home.
Your legs are useless.
You like spring, but you can’t even feel that properly
I could hear the traffic in the distance.
And the birds.
And the birds.
And the noise.
Oh fucking hell this is too hard.
Don’t you fucking dare, stay here and torture yourself.
A runner comes towards me.
HE IS FUCKING JUGGLING.
HE IS JUGGLING WHILE RUNNING A FUCKING MARATHON
You haven’t run 2 miles yet.
Look at you.
You’re a failure.
Look at him, this is EASY for him.
What happened to your SAD going away in spring?
I can’t make myself run.
There is toooooo much other stuff going on.
My ears find a song on the wind.
It is a reggae version of My Heart Will Go On.
No it won’t.
My heart will not go on, i will rip the fucking thing out while it beats.
Have I really heard that?
I try tune into where it is.
It really is reggae Celine.
3 boys cycle past me.
They are about 13 years old.
They’re discussing the poo processing plant and how it would’ve paid well in the 70’s and 80’s.
I couldn’t even bring myself to run past the poo plant.
Despite the stench, I walked.
A family comes out of Toby’s Tea Room.
Oh my god the child is screaming.
Get it away from me.
Make the child stop screaming.
I need to run.
I need to get away from that screaming noise.
I need to get away from that screaming noise.
Layer upon layer upon layer upon layer upon layer of overload.
I just want it to stop.
I walked 5 miles that day and ran one.
It was my slowest ever 10km.
That night, I put my face on, literally, got dressed up and went out.
I pretended everything was well in the world.
All the while, the noise remained.
I dreamt about flying that night - like a drone.
My disconnect continued.
Luckily for me (and people I come into contact with), I have had some time off work and I feel better than I did.
I am working really hard in lots of ways to make myself better.
But I am still exhausted and it is still relentless.
Today, I know that this will pass.
Saturday, I was all up for making sure it never happened again.
The thought of living with this crippling brokenness was too much to take.
I do not want to feel like this.
This is not who I am.
I have come to realise over the years (and only when I am well) that there will always be an impostor in my head.
Sometimes it is small enough to ‘just’ be wonky chemicals.
My inner superhero keeps it in check.
And sometimes it grows and it is the ultimate bad guy / villain.
I have no defenses and it consumes me.
Who I am vanishes.
I become this ‘other thing’.
The impostor takes my body as well as my brain.
Control is complete.
We’ve all seen the films.