Hi. My name’s Chris and I suffer with a mental illness. I don’t know for sure what that illness is at the moment despite numerous assessments and combinations of meds from healthcare professionals, but I do know it can be an absolute pain to live with on a daily basis. Both for me and the people around me.
Although I have suffered with this illness for most of my years on this planet it is only recently that it has really started to affect my day to day life in such a profound way.
Previously my days were kept busy with a demanding job in sales and administration. I used to spend hours on the phone to businesses, sending emails, carrying out research and assisting my team when a requirement arose.
Since September 2017 though, things have dramatically changed. The illness that I had managed to keep at bay for all those years finally crept up and got me when I wasn’t expecting it to, leaving me in such an unstable state of mind that I was unable to work and hardly able to function.
From then on I’ve been through a number of different GP’s, been assessed by my local mental health team and had 12 sessions with a Mind counsellor to try and work out what’s actually wrong with me. The only diagnosis I’ve had was from the mental health nurse that assessed me who concluded that I suffer from mild depression and moderate anxiety. This is despite me self harming on a regular basis and having suicidal thoughts pretty much every other day. Suffice to say I don’t agree with the nurses diagnosis and now need to keep pushing on in order to establish what’s really going on with me.
My days now consist of a relentless, exhausting battle with myself to try and keep my mind calm. It’s not easy. My level of anxiety tends to sit at around the 95% mark most of the time, perhaps dropping down to around the 60% mark if I’m feeling particularly relaxed. It doesn’t take much to set me off on an episode and God help anyone that’s around when one occurs. My mind is such a busy place with so many thoughts, fears and worries rushing around it nineteen to the dozen that if just one of those thoughts makes a wrong turn during it’s journey it will upset everything else around it. The result of that mistake will then manifest itself either as extreme rage, extreme depression or a horrific combination of the two. It’s a frightening experience. It certainly scares the hell out of me!
Anyway, I decided to start this blog for a few reasons. Firstly because during my time with my Mind counsellor I found that writing helped to empty my head of some of those negative thoughts, secondly because I was inspired to do so after reading Jayne Hardy’s fantastic book ‘The Self Care Project’ and thirdly because I hoped that some of the thoughts and experiences that spewed from my med-addled mind might help others in some way.
Comments and feedback are always welcome on this blog or if you prefer you can contact me on Twitter: @chrisjhack