Today is #worldmentalhealthday #wmhd17 and today I am angry. Anger, just like sadness, fear, shame, pain and even my loves and desires are things I have spent most of my life hiding. Maybe I didn’t deserve to feel them, maybe I was scared too, often I was more concerned with adjusting myself to fit around others emotions. But these emotions aren’t bad things. They are what makes us human and we all have a right to feel and express them. Why am I angry today? Because how ever bad you feel our mental health services are … times that by 100. However much you feel you don’t stigmatise mental illness … question the fact that maybe you have at times, wether at a stranger, someone you know or even yourself. We all have mental health and we all may experience mental illness just as we all have physical health and may experience physical illness. I’m angry about the assumptions that are made when someone suffers illness and the reasons why. My diagnosis is recurrent depressive disorder. Every single person I know has seen me during an ‘episode’, many, more often than they have seen me not in one. My current ‘episode’ has been going on for over 4 years. .. 4 years! I didn’t want anyone to know that. It’s funny that as I began to express what was inside people said you can’t tell you just seem ‘normal’. Yes because I’m still me and this is how I’ve been for so long. It’s funny how the more I expressed the more I suddenly became not ‘normal’. Yet the things I was expressing weren’t new I was just giving them a voice. Its funny how people needed to apply a reason for it. Their reasons, their pain, their timeline for when they knew. My previous ‘episodes’ have generally lasted a year. I’m told that’s pretty damn long anyway but this one has been unbearable. Mainly because I got so exhausted. Exhausted of the pain. Exhausted of hiding it. Exhausted of the pretence. Exhausted of living through it. I will continue to put on a disguise as and when needed but I will no longer disguise my emotions as a whole and let them eat me up. I will show all of me. Don’t be afraid of who you are x
This poem comes from reading the collection of tweets earlier in the week for the hashtag abused by services both historical and very much still present within mental health services.
A difficult one to write and I couldn’t complete on the day. My personal experiences tell me to stress to you BELIEVE THEM! The other truly remarkable and wonderful people working within the services don’t let them silence and discredit you too – speakout