Life (as I Know It)

I can’t seem to find any happy souls. Life is proving hard for many a friend, family member, acquaintance. I reassure them that it will pass; to be proactive in looking after their mental health; seek someone professsional to talk to – regularly, not just when the going gets unbearable. I say these lines, they sound responsible, mature, spoken by one who knows and is in a position to now give advice that she once had to take. I’m not sure how many of these words I have faith in – neither my position as one to advise, nor my belief in things passing, lifting, improving.

My daydreams are of ‘ease’ . I attempt to imagine what being ‘at ease’ might feel like. How being of that disposition would change my life. It would.

Worry covers my brain. It is the oil which seeps from a wrecked ship into the ocean. The oil which sticks to the feathers of marine birds, that clogs their lungs, that ultimately pulls them under. Where once was pure bright whiteness, now lies a think covering of suffocating oil. Cleaning it off is a highly intricate operation, taking dedication and care. My oil slick seeped in many years ago. I still have a sense of what might lie beneath, but the clean up operation is proving costly to my very Being and hope of flight once again, is diminishing.

It is hard. Life. Life. Is. Hard. It is not often enough admitted to. Our drive to look for the positive. Keep those heads high. Chins up. The hope of happiness. Glasses half full. Care givers fear deviating from the promise of better. Recovery can mean only good times ahead. But life is hard.

Dreams I clung on to in sickness, can not be recognised in (some sort of) health. Relationships fail to cure loneliness. Hopes fail to prevail over practicalities. Heartfelt desire does not make for the fulfilment of goals. I sound miserable. I’m miserable.

My striving is played out in my refusal to give up, give in. So life is not a barrel of laughs and contentment, but I have found some small joys.

I walk round the meadows, along the canal, most days, all weathers, all moods, all aches and pains, with my little shadow, a dog. I breathe in the air. I exchange chirpy, shallow words with fellow dog walkers, I feel the freshness on my cheeks. This is my joy. Some days I don’t want that walk to end. The empty house awaits, the space for my physical and mental ills to return to the forefront. My reality.

When you’re sad, it is very hard to find anything not tinged with sadness, any interaction capable of sparking a further demise. Meetings with friends bring on sickness, their exsistance proving as a reminder of how ill in body and mind I am. How incapable I deem myself to be. How limited my mental health is. How restricted my options, how childish my needs. How desperately, painfully lonely I am, even in their company. I toy with the notion that a solitary existence would be an easier one. That I can’t cope with the nausea of those reminders. I am taunted. On my own, I long for company, in company I long to hide and shut out all.

I worry in writing this, I am not providing the beacon of hope I wish to be able provide for those reading in search of something to cling on to. In my writing I set out to educate, to thrash through my demons, to log my journey with mental illness. I will stay true to that.

For those who are suffering and searching for hopes, then I give you this – I will never give up trying to find a way to live less painfully. I will never take to bed and search no longer. I will never stop attempting life as an adult. I will never accept My ‘Lot’ as being my beginning, my middle, my end. This is my beacon of hope. To you. To myself. Be brave My Self, be brave.










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