As I went home many thoughts were going through my mind…including the worst: killing myself, crashing my car. Next day I was a complete mess, my wife knew instantly, phoned work to say I would not be in, sent me to the doctor’s. And that was it, which was to be my last day in work. I turned to Facebook to find solace and entered a battle to fight work for the justice of my suffering. I was angry with work, frustrated with life, felt a coward and weak, so I first wrote:
“There are some kinds of illnesses and disabilities that you cannot see, like depression and anxiety, so next time you ask "How are you?" please do not be offended if I tell you to f*@k off or shout at you for I cannot help it, even if sometimes you might deserve it, I don't intend it, for this is something I have and I should know that you cannot see this in me, and it is only when you look at me then I wonder why can't you see when I feel so ill. God bless”
Wife: We will get there, third time lucky eh. Chin up x
Me: thanks luvvy
Chris: Don't worry about it,,, Just get back to Norm!!!((;
Me: Right now I don't know what normal is meant to be. If it is living with this mental state everyday then so be it but sometimes I want to scream outload because I wonder why others can't see. I thought the Lord made the blind man see, which is silly to assume because I know that's not true only a myth.
My Facebook community understood;
“Hard to explain to someone who has no clue. It's a daily struggle being in pain or feeling sick on the inside while you look fine on the outside. Please put this as your status for at least 1 hour if you or someone you know has an invisible illness (PTSD, Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Diabetes, Crohn's, LUPUS, Fibromyalgia, MS, ME, NF, Arthritis, Cancer, Heart Disease, Epilepsy, Autism,M.D. etc.) " Never judge what you don't understand. “
Tracy: I agree with that Michael.x
LVW: Well said
Wife: Yes my dear we all know someone who is worse if than us.
Janet: I totally agree with you Michael I have three of the above but no one would be likely to know by looking at me. If only they know me well enough.
Turning to Facebook, I assume I was looking for help, to fight the oncoming battle with work. Sounds bizarre, but that it is what I looking for I suppose.
f Form"Right now I don't know what normal is meant to be. If it is living with this mental state everyday then so be it but sometimes I want to scream outload because I wonder why others can't see. I thought the Lord made the blind man see, which is silly to assume because I know that’s not true just myth. For what I have is not mythical, it is real and it is those who are blind to it that make it worse for me so back off, let me be, go away and think of a plan, then come back and help me not disown me for I am real, I am me. God bless.”
Wife: we are here to help you. But of course you have to talk to us, if we don’t know we cannot help as you may seem to be the same on the outside. It is a long process as we know from previous setbacks, we will get back to normal my friend, but we have to be patient and it could be a long and hard road ahead. With loved ones by your side to help and encourage you we will get there.
Joan: For a long time I lived in a dark place, and sometimes it seems that the tunnel will never come to an end. But thank goodness for the love of a family and true friends. You have our love and support Michael and Christine, even though we are many miles apart. xx
Caroline: Stay focused on the truth that you will be ok and rise above - no matter what. All that you are going through is part of your grand plan. A plan of greatness! Sometimes we need hard times to grow and to really appreciate the love and support that surrounds us. You have that in abundance. Embrace it! And before you know it the light will appear. Hold on to that amazing saying "and this too shall pass". With love xxx
Chris: You'll get there matey; Always look on the bright side!!!!!! .. we’re all here;;
Bob: hi I like that Caroline.
These were true words of comfort, inspiring, yet in my mind I was ignoring them. My attitude was not changing; in fact I was getting worse. Why was I able to express my feelings in writing and not in open talk with those around me…why, why, why?!
My sleep and life were becoming disturbed!
Joan: Hope you are feeling better today. xx
Me: Had a long sleep but still up at 0530am. Had to put the bins out for the dustcart and that got my heart racing. Our neighbour says we can put our garden rubbish with hers, (have to pay extra for garden sacks to be cleared) but the bag is too heavy as it is sodden with the rain that has not stopped for the last 24hrs. Still, apart from all that I feel a little better than yesterday morning but I am still shaky. And if this rain keeps up it looks like another day being spent at home!
Joan: Are you on any meds
Me: yes, it is called Citalopram and these can make you worse before they start working. At moment on one a day and have been advised to increase to two a day as from Wednesday. Then I will have to monitor the effects of taking an increase.
Joan: Mum was on that and I have been as well. I started off on 1/4 then 1/2 then 1. I only stayed on it for a short time (when mum was so ill). I assume you have googled the side effects etc. I found them to work quickly and to be very effective. Check how you are breathing as well, don't breathe from the top of your chest, breathe from your 'stomach' area (diaphragm), the top of your chest shouldn't move. It's amazing how breathing correctly helps.
I was glad in a way of Facebook. It helped a little to let go. But the thought of work was getting to me slowly. My doctor arranged for me to see a councillor. At first it was painful. Why did I go? Not sure really, suppose I was looking to see if they could get me in the right frame of mind to return to work. I had already got onto the union to help represent me, and had advice from ACAS, all pointing the same way in that there was no duty of care from work towards my condition.
Yet, deep down I hated what I was doing, knew what the inevitable outcome would be, as did my wife. I spent long hours looking for argument against my work place. It was frustrating for my wife, yet I just ignored it and in our tenth year of marriage with our anniversary so close.
Yes, we had planned to go away, but not sure if it was wise to do so…I had my doubts, so did my wife. In careful consideration we went…and yes it was enjoyable. As part of our weekend we booked, or my wife booked, an evening trip on the Thames, a river cruise with evening meal and song. Have to say and I spoke to my wife instantaneously, “that was so relaxing!”
Yes, when we stepped off the barge a great weight lifted off my shoulders. I cannot explain it but it was a fantastic experience. The calmness of the cruise had done something good, we both felt happy as we made our way back to our hotel. For a brief time we were feeling good!
(to be continued...)