I have no specific topic of focus is this blog, I think because I’m feeling very unmotivated at the moment, and also a lack of sleep/illness isn’t helping, and am therefore finding it difficult to focus my mind, and concentrate enough to write something significant. You know when it’s a windy day and you see a plastic bag blowing along the road, catching on things and bumping into people? That’s how I feel like. Being swept along, unable to have any control over the direction, and rising and falling on an almost hourly basis. The main emotions over the last few days are that of hopelessness, frustration, lack of motivation, and a horrible feeling of emptiness and emotional impotence. It’s a feeling of there being nothing to look forward to, and an impossibility of gaining any pleasure from every day activities. Weekends/weekdays blend into one, and each day seems the same, resulting in a sensation of merely existing, not living. It’s a very hard emotion to describe, and put into words, and therefore I find it particularly difficult to talk to people about.
In the last few days one thing I have achieved is to retry meditation, after having briefly attempted it in the past, with varying degrees of success. I’m using the app Headspace, which has had a lot of positive reviews, and seems to be the leading meditation tool at the moment. I’m currently on day six of the Take 10 course which is a ten day introduction to meditation. Each meditation is 10 minutes long, with the aim being to create better self awareness and focus, as well as reducing the stress and worries that are ever present. I’m finding that whilst engaging in them, the meditations are fairly relaxing, but the effects don’t last much beyond the 10 minutes. I will persevere, and once I have completed the Take 10 course, I will move onto the more advanced meditations, and see what effect, if any, they have on me. Unfortunately I’m naturally sceptical about this type of venture, but will aim to keep an open mind, as I am desperate for anything that may help me.
Finally, I saw this article on the BBC website. It makes my heart sink to hear that funding has decreased for mental health. I just want to stand on the roof tops and shout out that “this isn’t good enough!” It’s not just the amount of support provided by the NHS, but also the quality and speed of it. For example, I waited about 7 months for the weekly psychotherapy sessions that I attend, from my initial assessment until the course commenced. This is not acceptable, and I strongly believe that mental health needs to be prioritised much more than it is. After all, people’s lives literally depend on it, as its estimated that 90% of all people that commit suicide have a mental illness. How therefore, can a 7 month wait to get help, or a reduction in funding to the NHS, be acceptable when these statistics offer a stark reality of the illness. My aim going forward through this blog, and hopefully some ventures that this blog may lead to (watch this space), is to spread the word as far and wide as I possibly can. The more people that can have their say the better, as its the only way to gain an understanding, and to formulate a way in which we can be proactive going forward. I want to finish with these words from Joanne, who was commenting on my ‘What Lasts Forever, But Is Running Out Every Second?’ blog from 3rd February. Its this kind of honest and positive thinking that is the only way people are going to understand mental health, and try and beat it:
“Believe. You are in charge of the way you feel. It is not in charge of you. Change the way you think. Yesterday you were a victim of depression. Today you are a victim of depression. Tomorrow you will be a survivor of depression. Never look towards the future or look back at the past. Concentrate on the here and now. You will beat this, you will get better. Do one thing that is positive each day that you wouldn’t normally do,even if it scares you. Push yourself to do the things you would normally quit at. Never beat yourself up about the past, it’s over. Don’t worry for the future, it hasn’t happened yet. You will make the future all that you want it to be. Learn to laugh at life, laugh at yourself, laugh at life and how ridiculous things are. You are a survivor of this illness. Make new friends, chat to anyone, learn to smile at yourself. Courage isn’t always a loud roar. It can be a small voice at the end of the day that says,”I will try again tomorrow”. To discover the new ocean you are looking for you must have the courage to drift away from the shore. You have been blighted by this for 10 years and you have had the courage to keep going regardless…you have the courage to drift away from the shore. I was sectioned, forcibly given medication,alone, afraid and in that deepest darkest tunnel you know about. I was dragged off by the police in front of colleagues, made a fool of really. Nobody wanted to know me apart from my family. I lived rough on the sreets, all because of this damn illness. I never thought I would escape it. I did. I have a lovely house, a husband, children and I have been off medication and happy for 10 years. I will never go back, I will never be ill again. You will be like me, I believe you can do it. I know you can do it. Know you can do it too.”