It was brought to my attention that I lack lustre for life, which is not surprising considering I have a condition. However what surprised me was that other people had noticed, and it directly effected them, making them find it hard to get excited for life too, and they couldn’t get excited about events involving me or even “risk” the emotional investment.
As a way to protect myself from external factors and my own emotions, I have a habit of going catatonic, or numbing myself so that I do not react to things I do not like. A great example was when I went to a scare fest and there was clowns with chainsaws running around – rather than getting scared and squealing and having the thrill of endorphin like everyone else, I clammed up and downright refused to react. Thus taking the thrill out of life.
This obviously upset me and I felt like I had failed as a friend, partner and family member. I reached out to Facebook for tips on how I may get that “drive” back and one person suggested a 365 days challenge of appreciating something every day.
For day one, I am grateful for my partner, Andrew. Being with me has been a very hard two years, and I am sure at every turn his head was telling him to get out now. But he stuck with me because he saw potential. I have never been more sick than when I have been with him, and truthfully he has never seen me at my best yet. Things are really hard right now, and we are two very different personalities that clash at almost every turn, but he has always pulled through for me on the things that really matter. He knows how scary doctors are for me, and how much the mental health system has failed me, and how against medication I was, so when I told him I had made an appointment with the GP to get medicated and talk about suicide, he ran for 40 mins to get to my appointment to be with me on time, because he didn’t have enough cash for a bus, and knew if he took time out to go to a cash point then he could be late. He has always given me the right life advice, his knowledge, all of his exhausted patience and hasn’t gone soft on me. He is teaching me to be my own person and live independently, he inspires me to better myself and be strong. He has taught me a lot of people, and the mind, and when it is better to just be silent, or leave people alone r give them space. And yes, right now I cant do those things, right now I do need fussing and lots of attention and monitoring, and our relationship is going at arms length one step at a time but I hope he knows ill always come through for him in the best ways I know how.
He doesn’t really “get” mental health, and communication is hard, but I think thats why we work – because he forces me to explain myself, use my words and be an adult and take responsibility. He was there for me on boxing day when I realised I never thought I would still be around for Christmas, he gets other people over to help me because he knows sometimes he cant, he will hold me down an hug me tight so that I cant move during an attack until I calm down, then wrap me up tightly.
He has health issues of his own, things I cant really help him with, and my kind of support doesn’t really work for him so I am very slowly learning to adapt, every time I am able to leave him be or make him smile I take as a little personal achievement because it takes so much for me to change my behaviour and the condition has effected my memory so badly that I often forget what he needs.
I really hope he can stick around long enough to see the real me, and we can start enjoying being together again.