120. The approximate number of days I’ve spent in hospital over the past year. 120 or roughly one third of the last year has been spent away from home, in a hospital bed, trying to find something to “fix” me, without realising that I’m not actually broken, and to quote Matchbox 20, I’m just a little unwell.
At various times over the past year I have felt completely broken and have held little hope for recovery. I’ve done things that I would not usually do, I’ve said things I would not usually have said. I have felt completely lost and completely hopeless and have needed medical intervention to save me from myself.
Poor mental health is a very real issue for those of us who experience it. I know everyone has bad days, but for those of us with mental illness, it’s not as simple as a bad day. We can’t provide ourselves with some positive motivation and have a better day. We can’t sleep it off and feel better tomorrow. And contrary to what many people believe, it’s not as simple as taking a pill to “fix” your mental health.
As you would have seen in my earlier posts, I went through over 25 electroconvulsive therapy treatments, I went through 30 transcranial magnetic therapy treatments, I now take 14.5 tablets every single day to counteract the symptoms of my mental illness. These treatments have not “cured” or “fixed” me, but somehow, they appear to make it a little easier each day for me to keep on keeping on.
I watch every day closely, internally assessing it. Each day I note a feeling of depression I fear that the depression is worsening and mentally start planning my suicide and wondering how I go about hiding my depression from everyone that I love. Each day I note that my mood becomes elevated I consider that this may not be a “normal” mood, and I may be escalating to a place where I feel invincible and make poor decisions based on this. The hypomanic episodes are easier to dismiss, as part of me feels like they are a reward for the shitty depression episodes. Rationally I know that they cause just as much (if not more) damage than the depressive episodes, but after so long feeling so down that nothing would brighten you up, it’s easy to dismiss that voice of reason that tells you that you need to manage your hypomania before it takes control.
Why am I writing this? I don’t know. Part of me finds comfort in writing down what I’m feeling and letting it out of my head. Part of me also feels like this allows me to share my feelings with family and friends so that they don’t need to ask or assume what is going on with my mental health. And part of me hopes that it will encourage others who experience these mental health struggles to know that they’re not alone, and that it’s all worth fighting for.