Firstly: Jonathan, if you manage to make it to number 1, I will really take my hat off to you. I can\’t believe you\’re at number 2 today; I really thought it wouldn\’t be possible to move past 3.[br][br]So. World Mental Health Day. Honestly, what the hell? I had all these ideas in my head of some big hall filled with stalls from different mental health organisations from around the county…and then yeah that\’s what it is…but it\’s really lame organisations. I mean…no one there HAD any mental problems, as I defiantly politically incorrectly say. (Read on and you\’ll see why the defiance.)[br][br]It was just some general psychiatric support groups, help with housing and jobs. All useful, sure, if you need that kind of thing…but where were the support groups I\’d hoped to meet? I happen to know there\’s some Tourette\’s group that meets out in that town, but I can\’t find out how to get in touch with them without joining Tourette\’s Action for their paid membership fee, which is so obnoxious.[br][br]I saw this stall (and there weren\’t many) though for this initiative where people volunteer 2-3 hours a week of their time to spend going out and doing \’fun\’ social things with someone who\’s been referred by their psychologist as possibly benefiting from the influence of someone else, to drag them out of self-imposed isolation, basically. A great idea, really. I mean, I think I could have used that back when I was totally agoraphobic for 2 years. But like…I\’d want to be paired with someone who\’d been through it before, not someone who led this totally normal life and didn\’t have a clue but thought it\’d be a good experience to flash up their CV.[br][br]So this woman from the initiative starts chatting to me, and I tell her actually yeah, I\’m interested. I\’m just not sure I\’d have the time, honestly. But yeah, I\’d love to help someone out like that, because I know how hard it is to get out of that dark space. Then I start talking more about myself…all my \’problems\’, you know. And she tells me there are strict rules that say you can\’t volunteer if you\’ve undergone psychiatric care yourself in the last six months. And I mean…yeah I understand. You don\’t want to pair one crazy person with another, so to speak. It might push them over the edge. But you know…I might have issues, but equally no one who\’s outside my close family and friends has a clue about that side of me because you know, you live with these things long enough, you develop a talent for covering it up. Well, I have, anyway.[br][br]Really, what I mean is: I live a normal life. I\’ve got a job, a fiance, a child, a good salary (before the credit crunch hit), lots of friends, drive, perserverence, strength, intelligence, probably a decent future (even if I forget all these things when I hit my own dark mood), and I\’ve learned the art of compartmentalisation enough to ensure that my borderline mood swings don\’t actually come out in any setting but at home…which really sucks because if I\’m so good at hiding it at work, you\’d think I could do it at home…but then again, the reason I\’m good at hiding it at work is because…I don\’t need anyone to like me there; I really don\’t care. It\’d be nice, but I won\’t die over it either. Whereas, at home, yeah, it really matters. REALLY. But I can be very professional, because I go into \’service\’ mode and don\’t think about my own needs so much. I\’m good at that.[br][br]Okay, anyway. And I told this woman about when I didn\’t leave the house for two years and became totally nocturnal. She asked how I pulled out of it. I thought for a moment, then probably demonstrated my eccentricity, by answering, \’Well, see, my dad got me quite interested in quantum physics, and I saw this film on the topic and learned all about how we can rewire our own brains and I decided I had a drug addiction to my own depression chemicals, and basically I just got so fed up with everything and decided to fake it until it started to feel real and you know, "feel the fear and do it anyway"…I\’ve never read the book but it\’s an inspiring enough title…\’ and then stopped myself before I started rattling on about the bit in \’Lost\’ when Jack says whenever he gets really scared he allows the fear to wash over him for the count of 5, and then just plunges forward. I mean…I don\’t want to sound like I get my philosophy from a TV show (even if it happens from time to time!).[br][br]I felt, while I was talking, like man am I rambling and non-sequitur (feel free to let me know if I\’ve spelled that word wrong, because I\’m always trying to work out the correct spelling and Word can never tell me the right suggestion, but um…I think that actually might be right? Maybe? I\’ve only seen it written down once…hey guess what, I\’m rambling again!), but instead she looked at me in maybe awe? and said if I decided I had the time, she would really push for me to be allowed to do it because she thought I\’d be brilliant at it. I was quite flattered. But you know…I\’m always getting these ideas in my head, ideas that I\’m going to save the world…and I really mean it, I really want to, but then somehow in the end I always decide I don\’t have time and I lose the drive (if I don\’t act immediately, I don\’t act at all) and then I forget, etc. So we\’ll see. It would be cool, I think. And yeah, I think I\’d be good at it. I can be fun :)[br][br]So then I was talking to this guy (not on purpose) from a housing organisation, and I was just being polite so I asked how he got into the mental health field, and he\’s telling me, and I start noticing his PC term for people with mental problems is \’people with mental health\’. I\’m there thinking, isn\’t that sort of…the opposite of what you actually mean? But I just kept looking at him and chatting, a bit bemused but not pointing anything out, because it was just so silly. He was so one of these types who does it because it\’s a bit different and he feels like a great benefactor. Like Oprah. Where it\’s true, she\’s done a lot of good with her life, so you can\’t fault her there, but at the same time you catch her making odd statements on TV, like, \’I love charity because I love how grateful people are to me,\’ and you just think…yeah, that\’s actually selfish giving, isn\’t it? Like good on you all the same, but…it\’s not quite there yet, somehow.[br][br]And at one point he said often people \’with mental health\’ get rejected by their families because \’normal people\’ (I think he slipped there!) can\’t understand what it\’s like to have \’mental health\’. So I said, \’Well…yes, and likewise, people with mental health can\’t understand what it must be like to be normal.\’ He said, \’It\’s not that different, though, it\’s only that people with mental health have less confidence to go out and achieve the way a normal person would.\’ And I didn\’t bother replying, but I was thinking, well…plenty of \’normal\’ people are insecure too, even more insecure than me, for instance…and anyway, he totally missed my point. I didn\’t mean anything like that; I meant that we have different brains, different ways of thinking, interpreting the world we live in, so I can\’t at all fathom how he must function in life, and so you can\’t really say \’normal\’ people and all this nonsense, because really it\’s just people, all kinds of people, who exist differently. And yes, it IS really that different. Sure, confidence can come into it, but mainly it\’s more a matter of trying to fit into a world that was created for a different kind of person that you just have no hope of ever being, and like…why SHOULD you be like them, when you\’re you and you\’re just as valid? That sort of thing.[br][br]The whole event ended rather quickly, early, because hardly anyone turned up to it, but I did manage to pick up some psychiatric services magazines from the county, and a flyer for this \’survivors\’ group in my own town, but they\’re doing a meeting on a weekday, because it seems they expect everyone with mental problems to not have jobs! I mean…that\’s my theory, anyway.[br][br]So yeah, I had time to kill, so I wound up going shopping and getting this T-Shirt at New Look that says \’Arizona\’ and \’Texas\’ on it, with lots of relevant photos and drawings, and I don\’t know. It was cheap, and I was having this random nostalgic moment where I was playing the Gin Blossoms lots, and then I walk in there and they\’ve got all these US state hoodies for who knows what reason, I mean this is England, in case they\’d forgotten, but the first thing I see is this Arizona shirt…and I was born in Texas, as well, so I don\’t know. I think lately I\’ve been embracing my roots or something. I had such a terrible experience there at the end that I wound up resenting and hating that place with a passion for a long time. Then that faded, I got past the trauma (long story I\’m not going to share), and then I just didn\’t really care, and then little things happened…like when I stayed with my mom recently and remembered my whole childhood with her, or like someone on Tribe who I\’ve started talking to recently who comes from Phoenix. Talking to them is like…I can\’t put my finger on what it is, but there\’s something very Arizonan about how this person talks, and about how I talk when I write to them, and I\’m sure it\’s there when I talk to Arizonan friends, but seeing it in writing is a different thing, and these last two weeks suddenly reminded me that yes, there\’s something there that I like, I relate to, a certain sense of humour maybe? A way of wording things? Perhaps a type of dryness? I\’m not sure. But it\’s something no one here understands about me. And then there\’s something about how I am here, now, that no one back in America would quite relate to, either. And it\’s like…yeah, I\’m in two places: England as it moves forward, and Arizona frozen at one decade for all time. And I don\’t actually like not having roots. It\’s been long enough now that I can remember the things I liked about it there, and think of it fondly, even if I don\’t want to move back ever. And I guess that\’s what led to the Gin Blossoms thing, and then a whole reclaiming the Arizonan thing.[br][br]I came home and tried it on and said, \’And see, I actually AM Arizonan, so I\’m not just one of these trendy people thinking their all cool for wearing this American shirt when they\’ve never been there,\’ and George said, \’No, you just look like one.\’ (Although he also really liked the shirt – it\’s very cute, I\’m quite pleased with it.)[br][br]My fingers are stinging like mad. I unthinkingly ripped the nails all down and tore into the sides, earlier, and then had to file them to make them smooth and God they burn.[br][br]I had a terrible moment tonight. George got this cheap copy of a \’Fast Show\’ video and I\’ve never seen it before, so we were watching and there was this sketch involving this old man who lived on his own, and you know, it\’s meant to be funny…but suddenly I was hit with the thought: oh my God, I\’m going to be old some day, and what if I\’m alone, what if George dies before me, oh God what am I going to do all that time when I"m on my own, oh my God…and I mean, I just crashed. Hysterical laughter, and then instant depression. It didn\’t last long, but…my thoughts keep going back to it. I hate the way this OCD thing happens, the way everything\’s fine and then suddenly the most random thing will trigger something new and that\’s it, screwed for life. I mean, my indefeatable terror of death started with reading a story about a mouse being shot up into space, and thinking of how this mouse wouldn\’t know what was going on or that it would die, and oh lord, isn\’t death sudden and surprising, how is it going to happen to me…and that was like three or four years ago, and here I am, still battling this. All because of a \’50s sci-fi story called \’Star Mouse\’. Well…I guess this new worry is just going to have to be treated the way the death one is: every time I start to think about it, just think of something else, because really I know the best thing is to face it head on and make it lose its power so it vanishes, but really I can\’t deal with that because this isn\’t some irrational worry, this is actually very likely to happen some day, and the death thing will definitely happen eventually, so it\’s not really on the same level as worrying I might strangle my son, because I mean I know that\’s not going to happen. So I reckon the best thing in this case is just to change my thoughts to another topic, to stop the fear before it can sink in and incapacitate me. Anyone have any thoughts on that?[br][br]Actually, I\’m spacing out, so…I guess this is the end.
thymeoperator, , OCD, Addiction, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, Career, Child, Depression, Grief, OCD, PTSD, Therapist, 2