Hello my dears! My cupcakes, my online family!
So, listen, this weekend I did a scedule of my final posts for this Happy October theme I’m doing and restructured my entire blog (not done with that, by the way). So I thought I had it covered.
But Twitter – however obnoxious at times – can truly be an amazing place, where inspiration and ideas suddenly hit you in the face. I woke up during the night, or rather, one of my furballs woke me up (bless his little purrring majesty), and I just quickly checked the notifications on my phone. I follow a lot of people overseas, so due to time difference, when I go to bed, they are having their dinner – which means that I usually get up in the morning to a full Twitter feed. As I’m writing this now, they are – hopefully – sound asleep, dreaming about flying, work, vacations, sex… not necessarily in that order. Anyway, what I read, and this actually kept me awake for a bit, thinking, was a tweet from one particular power woman, Alicia Dove. If you love dogs, especially rescue dogs, a good sense of humour and seeing the intelligent and decent side of Twitter, you should look into her tweets. However, this is not an ad, and she’s perfectly capable of doing that herself, if she wants to, but I’d like to show you the specific tweet, I got inspired by, before I actually dive into, what then occured to me.
Now, this may be humourous to most, but I gotta say, having a very visual way of thinking and processing information, to me this kinda comes up there on the level where my old biology teacher tried to exemplify with personal stories certain aspects within sexual education classes….
Trouble is, my memory is somewhat screwed up. It’s selective as fuck and short term..? Forget it! – so I do.
But – and don’t ask me why – these kinds of things stay. There’s a silver lining to everything, I guess, so at least there are certain things, I never forget. Apparantly it doesn’t matter that I want to forget them. But, dears, my mind is drifting again. You should be used to it by now, but let’s nonetheless pull this back on track…
What struck me with this tweet was that our loved ones – if worth keeping – are sometimes going through thunder storms and junk yards for us. Anyone outthere with a mental illness will know how important the support system is – especially the ones closest to you. Either you know, because you have it – or you know it, because you lack it. And face it, some do lack it for any variety of reasons. And that just fucking breaks my heart. Because I seriously would not know, where I’d been at without My Fair Lady (the Lady of the House, not the musical!). I would’ve survived, because – well, that kinda what I do and always have done – but I honestly don’t think that I would have reached this point by now, where I am still recovering, but selfaware and able to take care of myself, at the level I’m able to do it.
You see, I’m pretty damn stubborn. I’m constantly pacing myself beyond what I can actually take at times. My recovery is no different. I find it extremely hard to accept that I’m still on sick leave, that my working capacity is only at three hours a week, when I have worked as a restaurant manager and grocery store assistant manager for 6-7 years. Nailed my trainee courses. Created multiple sales records. Today, after two major break downs more or less in a row, I’m away 3 hours a week at an autistic facility called Special Minds, where I’m training and learning different computer programs – and the dishes or cooking dinner still seems to get to me. Not like, “dah, really don’t feel like it”, but like “I just wanna sit down and cry from exhaustion”. And I’m not okay with that – but I’m a lot more okay with it than I used to be, which is primarily due to the Lady constantly reassuring (occasionally reminding or telling) me that “It’s OK” to take a break.
My Lady has been through all of it. She got to know me as an aspiring restaurant manager, was there when I got promoted and for 4-5 years, it was peachy. Then the first break down came, after an assault from a guy, that later stalked me. Lost my job, due to a combination of anxiety, depression and stress. Got back up on my feet, started at the grocery store as assistant manager and did well there too – until I broke down again, this time to a degree where I was admitted to the psychiatric hospital for a month (this is when I got my final diagnosis). I was somewhat “used to it”, the break downs, because I have had major depressions and mental fights throughout my life – but keep in mind, that she never saw that part and I’d never really talked about it, because – well, it’s not really something you brag about. She went through 4-5 years, where I was strong, in control – and then she saw the other side of me. After 4-5 years of seeing me on top, she suddenly found herself overhearing a conversation with a psychiatrist, where I admitted, when being questioned about it, that I was thinking about putting an end to all of it. That was the first of the break downs, she saw. After a recovery, she got to see the entire thing all over again, but worse.
Guess what – she’s still here! (Fuck, I really don’t know why, but she is!)
So this Happy October post will therefore be dedicated to the loved ones that have our backs. And I’m actually kind of ashamed that I needed a reminder, an inspiration, to remember that. Because with mental illness, loved ones rarely get any help. They are pretty much left to their own devices, trying to figure out how to help this person with something that is so difficult to understand, unless you’ve actually been there. There are support groups online, but they are rarely run by professionals, which in most cases is actually quite necessary, because mental illness not only hits the person inflicted, but also those, that stand closely by. We are not just talking “sadness”, or “being tired” here – there are feelings like blame, anger, shame, dispair, loneliness and maybe even guilt. Often it comes with loss of employment, so there are financial worries, too.
And they still have our backs. Even when we are so caught up in pain and we forget to tell them, how much we love them.
Well – do it now! Just one person, start with that. It doesn’t have to be your entire family all at once, if you are in a dark place – but choose one person. If that person is with you, you take the person’s hand and say “thank you for being there” – if not there, call or send a text message. Just let that person know that they do make a difference. It doesn’t have to be a two hour talk or an essay by text – “thank you for being there for me” is all it takes.
Trust me, it will be appreciated. And just like we, in our struggles, sometimes need a little encouragement and support to keep going – so do our loved ones. Remember, they are watching all of this from the sidelines, often not knowing what to do, how to do it and feeling utterly helpless about it, because they really want to help, but how do one really fight the ill mind of another person, when we hardly know how to fight it ourselves? They will probably stick around, even if you don’t tell them – but why not tell them?
So do that now! The minute, no, the second you’re off this post, reach out, take the hand, pick up the phone, call or text. Whatever you can manage right now.
Let’s shout out to the ones we love.
All my love to YOU – you’ve got this!<3
This post is a part of my “Happy October” series, that started October 1st with “Litter boxes and rainbows”. You can get notifications on new posts, by subscribing to lindavlind.dk in the sidebar. Wanna see the other posts of Happy October, you just click the tag “Happy October” in the sidebar or use the search bar. Feel free to comment or share your own rays of sunshine in the section below.