Mental Health Day?

This is the last of the posts I wrote only first blog, which I got locked out of. It was inspired by Mental Health Day last October, but is relevant every day of the year. 
I think it’s great that there is a Mental Health Day. Don’t get me wrong on that one – this is something that needs ‘A Day’ and the publicity so YES! Let’s embrace it!
This post, though, is for those whose Mental Health goes beyond a day … those who wake up every morning and wish they hadn’t … those who were told eight years ago that they’d only be on meds for 6 weeks … those who were given a cd of calming music to cure the sleeping problems and knew it never would … those whose experience doesn’t fit into a box.
This post is for those who exhausted all the treatment they could have on the NHS and still need something else … those who spent 3 years plus filling out those “1-to-10-how-do-you-feel” forms … those who can’t say whether the meds make a difference or not anymore … those who aren’t sure what ‘normal’ is … those who can’t picture a life without mental health … those who keep on fighting.
This post is for those who work so hard to get out of bed in the morning … who fight their way into the shower maybe twice a week … who conquer a pile of plates … who have to climb the mountains of laundry.
This post is for those who keep on going day, after day, after day; sometimes just minute by minute; the next breath, the next cup of tea, the next glass of wine; work day by work day; getting through the next week.
We have survived every single thing that has ever happened to us! It might well have been horrific along the way, but we’ve survived it and we’re here!!
Go us!!

Church One Morning 

Originally published 23 October, 2016
It’s never a great start to a Sunday morning service when you’re fighting hyperventilation and keep telling yourself that you’re going to be strong and stay in the sermon.
I desperately wanted to get up and leave … but there were people I wanted to see after the service… and I knew we wouldn’t be in church for the next two weeks. So I stuck it out. I wrote ‘to-do’ lists in my diary and planned our long-over-due holiday next week. I tried hard not to think about the sermon and how I was negatively reacting to it. I tried to block it, and all the negative thoughts and feelings spiralling crazily out from it, from my mind.
By the time the service was over I was worked up, angry, tense, short of breath, emotional, completely exhausted …
And how do I explain that to other people? Some don’t need to know one way or the other, but I can imagine some people wondering what the flip had me so dazed, tired and disconnected.
How do I explain that? How can I say that I found the sermon massively uncomfortable and triggering and I’m still coming down from that? In what world but mine do hebrew root words, talk about covenant relationships and the umbrella of God’s law set off a panic attack?
But this is my world!
In my world, talking about hebrew roots, the torah, covenant relationships, shalom, the umbrella of God’s law/will, God hating injustice … I’ve actually had to calm myself down after writing that sentence.
Each one of us has our mix of triggers; our own combination of events, words, sounds, situations or smells that will set off a reaction. This is one of mine. Your’s might be another.
It leaves me feeling isolated and alone. I look around me – to the friend to my right who is enthusiastically taking notes on her phone, to my husband on my left who I know is mostly not paying any attention to the sermon – and I’m by myself having my panicked reaction to the words and phrases the preacher is using.
I leave the room longing to express my feelings to my close friend who knows so much … but even this is beyond our shared experience and empathy. I say the words that sent my pulse erratic and it means nothing.
I don’t blame her, I don’t blame my husband – in one way I’m glad they don’t get it! But I’m still here feeling sore, lonely and misunderstood.
Why would anyone get why this was so difficult for me? Oh yeah, they wouldn’t. Because they weren’t brought up a fricking Messianic Jewish Fundamentalist Homeschooled Girl in the South West of England.
Church can be a very painful and lonely place.
I hope that today church was an encouraging and happy place for you!

This Day, This Week, This Life

This week I have got up in the morning. I was assertive and persistent to get needed blood tests; I went and had the blood tests. I have washed my hair.. maybe once, maybe twice, I can’t remember. I’ve fed my husband every day. I made it to coffee with friends for 10am this morning. I have done maybe one load of laundry. I have woken up from nightmares not knowing where I was too many times. I have tried to bury myself and my thoughts in books and their stories every day. I have breathed. 

This week, this is what my CPTSD life looks like.