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The Truth of our Existence

Former-Member
Not applicable

The Truth of our Existence

I have a question, if you could get rid of your mental illness completely and be totally "normal" would you?  I would not.  My mental illness helps define my personality, it is part of the truth of my existence. Others might feel differently, how do you guys feel about it?

16 REPLIES
Dec
Senior Contributor

Re: The Truth of our Existence

Hi @Former-Member

 

I don't know if anxiety is really mental illness - or maybe it's a matter of degree but for me my anxiety is certainly not serious - I can control it and think of it rather as emotional discomfort - and seeing as I have had this in varying forms for my adult life - it's part of me and I would not change it

 

My Chronic Pain now - that is different because it can take over my life and I use a lot of different things to cope with it - medication and meditation - and I have had it for over 20 years so it's really hard to remember life without it - and had I thought about it when I first had it I wonder how I would have felt then - now it's part of me - as MI is part of you I guess - I have learned to live with it

 

In fact many years ago I rang Life Line and it so happened I was speaking to a woman who was a GP and I liked what she told me and remembered it ever since and apply it.

 

What she said was that if my chronic pain was taken away I might die of culture shock and I think that might be true - and thinking on I could apply that to other things that have happened and are now part of my life, I included many things because we are made up of what has been in our journey - we add it to what we started with - nurture/nature

 

It is an interesting question - thanks for asking - I will be interested to read what other people have to say

 

Dec

Contributor

Re: The Truth of our Existence

Oh, I think of the depression and anxiety as a part of me at times, I have some strategies that work much of the time for them. The PTSD i would like gone forever and forever and forever. I want to have never found what I found, I want all memories of my daughter's death erased. The reexperiencing is so cruel. The good memories are so painful and the bad of course, terrible.
Sorry this is another "poor me"
Community Guide

Re: The Truth of our Existence

It is interesting that you put this question forward @Former-Member. Even in my younger years (childhood and teens), I was seen as 'eccentric'. I guess these eccentricities later manifested into a mental illness in adulthood is all and I was slapped with a diagnostic label.

If I could take away the soul-crushing depression, I would in an instant, but it shapes who I am so to do that would, in essence, be losing part of myself, so I don't think I could wish it away either. I've been doing a lot of research into schizy-type people and how we seem to share certain characteristics in childhood (like unusual postures and what parents like to deem over-active imaginations). I had both of these, I used to stand in the corner limbs outstretched behind me bent over talking to imaginary friends. I did this as soon as I could walk and talk (hence my "eccentric" nature). I also used to obsess over the oddest things and treat them like a passion (I still do this today). 

I guess to sum up what I am trying to say, even though there are times my mental illness has almost ended my life prematurely, I don't think I'd change it.

Former-Member
Not applicable

Re: The Truth of our Existence

@Rare 😢❤️💜❤️💜🌹

@Former-MemberWhen I had my mental breakdown largely triggered by grief it was agony. Not a place I would want to be in again - so I kept doing my best to dodge the pitfalls now. I had anxiety then that was debilitating and much harder to cope with than the depression - its daily dread lead me to despair. A trip to hell and back. 

But I would not have changed that experience as it has made me the person I am today. A more compassionate person whom can relate to those who are in pain. A person who has brought good from that experience as it not only has made me stronger but given me a greater appreciation for the good in life, the love in it and taught me what was really important in life. It made me whole.  No longer do I waste my life on what is meaningless - but what is meaningful and my life has much more purpose. It has shown me that miracles can happen as coming back from that darkness was against the odds and I nearly lost the battle a few times. It has shown me the power of hope and that good wins in the end.

I still have pain, have lapses of depression and anxiety,  but the inner peace, strength and love I carry inside far outweighs the suffering. It brought out the best in me now - being empathy and forgiveness. Without that experience I would be an empty person chasing the wind. No regrets - it is a part of my existence that brought out the best in me.

Dec
Senior Contributor

Re: The Truth of our Existence

Hi @Rare

 

I don't think your message is a "poor me" - I have memories about my son's death and there are times when I wish they would go away - though over time they are less

 

But they are part of me and I think of him every day - and why should I not - I think about my living daughter every day - 

 

I also believe though - as hard as it is - our grief honours those who have died

 

But - I do understand - the good memories are painful and the bad are terrible - I have a lot of that myselfHeart

 

Dec

Contributor

Re: The Truth of our Existence

Thank you Dec
i am sorry you understand but grateful for your reassurance. i am often negative these days and i have switched from being the main carer to being the one needing help. On many levels i already knew life was hard but there were always great times as well. The flashes of joy are harder to hold now. i dread the nights, and waking. July 7 will be her 21st birthday and August another deathday. i know that sounds obscene. Is it the PTSD that has made me so blunt do you think?
Sometimes i just want to scream at everyone to stop and see their bodies, the reality of the war that is mental illness. There is what i call dissonance in carrying on "normally" while surrounded by my reality.
Dec
Senior Contributor

Re: The Truth of our Existence

Hi @Rare

 

No one want to be a bereaved parent - it is a bad place to be - and I can assure it gets easier with time - I don't think it will ever go away - it's over 30 years for me now and I am okay most of the time but I have patches and anniversaries are always tough - as are birthdays - other events and then memories than can suddenly hit really hard - I do understand

 

About being blunt about such things - I rather think it is honest - it's the way it is - what other way can be deal with it - pushing things under the carpet causes elephants in the room.

 

There are people who understand and there are other people who will never get it - my own family hasn't been helpful - no one wants to be "upset" - such a shallow expressions - who wants to be upset? But what about us - we have lost a huge part of the future - so hard

 

To me you have said nothing obscene - I think you are expressive in the way to present how people see their bodies and the reality of mental illness - it is dissonance when carry on "normally" when surrounded by our reality - 

 

I had a lot of professional help through life - my son had some kind of MI - he was tormented and I now know he is at peace but I have had a hard time getting to a reasonable place at times - were you the main carer for your daughter - and now is the help you need because of your loss? Even as I ask I know there are many and complex reasons for life and what it does to us. 

 

Flashes of joy are hard to hold on to - it would be your daughter's 21st in a few weeks and her anniversary soon after - is the PTSD? I don't know but one thing I am sure of is that PTSD is something that can cause some kind of clarity - because things flash at us and we either grasp or refuse those moments - but they are impressed into our memories and it takes a lot of time to focus more naturally - or gently - time to get the sharp edges off the truth that is so brutal

 

I gather you have not had much understanding though this trauma - help varies - my suggestion is to hold onto your right to grieve - to weep - to be honest with yourself about your feelings. 

 

People here have been accepting of my loss and the upcoming anniversary - middle of July - and on a date unknown - the death of one of my first cousins - next week - 

 

I hear you - I understand - another suggestion is not to be hard on yourself - as I go through this rough time I focus on self-care - it's a good thing - we all need to care for ourselves

 

You are not alone - as I said - no one wants to be a bereaved parent - but since the beginning of time there have been bereaved parents yet it has never been natural

 

Sending hugs

 

Dec

Contributor

Re: The Truth of our Existence

Thank you Dec
For your support and understanding the dissonance

Yes self care you are right. i do find myself wanting permission from others to give myself self care. It is a pity because for sure anyone living with MI and or caring really does need to monitor and allow ourselves care.
This may be another example of me not wanting to adult, i like others to take responsibility and make decisions these days. i do some monitoring though, i no longer drink, it has been over 2 years since i stopped. Alcohol was a strategy i tried after Abbey's death but it failed in the long term.
i am sorry about the torment and death of your son, and hope that your self care during the difficult months is plentiful, cherish yourself.
i do think with dread that winter is coming and my psych reminds me i always have this drop but it takes me by surprise each year. Yes i was her primary carer, in fact Centrelink contacted me a week after her death to say our application for carer payment had finally been approved. Too late.
Senior Contributor

Re: The Truth of our Existence

@Rare - no need to say sorry for writing about what you are feeling. This forum is for you to ne able to express what you are willing to share. Good times. Struggles. Asking for help.