Things I Learnt From my Ongoing War with PTSD, et al.

I decided to publish this early, making this weekend 2 posts this week! Take it as a comeback gift to all of you readers who have stayed with me. I truly appreciate your readership, even though usually there are few commenters. Also because World Mental Health Day was just three days ago, this sort of thing would be timely! 🙂

In a latest post on my one and only Instagram account which I very recently privatized because of escalating issues, I said it will only continue getting worse for me before I get truly better. Though I have privatized my Instagram so I’m less reachable to sketchy guys who DM me for unknown reasons, I have not given up on my very public blog yet, seeing as I have not encountered any safety issues thus far. I pray the blogosphere continues being this kind to me.

What I’ve learnt about #ptsd and #depression so far:

1. Apparently for some people facing mental health conditions, it actually helps a lot when they move out from their parents.

2. Kindness from strangers. The world can be a very isolating place partially because everyone is busy but mostly because most people just are not equipped to handle your shit and hence even if they are your closest family or friends- YOU CAN’T TALK TO THEM or things get worse or even toxic. This is when strangers online fills in the gap for community and a listening ear. Guaranteed there are limitations because they aren’t in the same geographic region as you, but often they can be there in a walked-the-same-path way. They would know how isolation feels. Among other things that we face on a daily basis.

3. Identify the people who are not good for your mental health and well-being and LEARN from it. Humans have evolved throughout the ages through the various ____ eras. While homo sapiens may have survived on a diet of wild game, gathered nuts and seeds thousands of years ago, we have evolved into consuming dairy and grains as we settled into an agricultural lifestyle.

Likewise, there is a need to evolve when our lives change upon having mental issues to live with which some people cannot understand. Some people just cannot comprehend perspectives beyond of their own life experience and get angry when your scenario does not match their narrative, for example. Steer clear of such persons and adapt what you share accordingly, to protect your currently fragile psyche from being negatively impacted or at worst, being pushed off the edge yourself into literally dangerous waters.

4. Maybe in some ways having mental health issues makes some bite the bullet and decide to embark on adulthood extra early due to factors like. 3. Maybe. #healing

5. You will fall back into old bad habits you thought you were already over. The pop group The Click Five once sung “I’m getting over you most of the time.. If I say it like I believe it, then maybe it is true..” Lyrically this song was about an old flame but it could apply to metaphorical old flames and vices as well.

I’ve got to admit there were twice in the past month I inadvertently got back with my old loves, one of which was Al-Cohol. Likely a case of new medication not agreeing with my system and made my depression much worse. I’m not proud of my hook-ups with my old loves, especially with Al, as it was quite a toxic dynamic I used to have back in secondary school.

However, I did learn that sometimes its not forgiving others that is hard, its forgiving ourselves. Sometimes we just don’t extend the same kind of graciousness to ourselves, and during that time when I had my brief dalliances with Al-Cohol I learnt to go easy on myself.

6. One very common trend I have noticed among close friends and family who do not have severe mental health issues: 

The refrain “You’re taking medication.. That isn’t so good.. There are side effects to them..”

The alternative: Me hanging myself out of desperation because I’m in so much psychological pain nobody can help me with when I am un-medicated and unable to function like a normal human being. Bye bye timely showers and mealtimes. For the record, I definitely do not wish to die by strangulation, even at my most sub-par suicidal state. I prefer not to mangle my own earthly shell. However, unless these people are particularly crossing lines by criticizing you on issues they obviously know nothing about, it is possible to look the other way.

7. Makeup, if you’re a woman, can be your best defense against people questioning your sanity.

I’ve found people are more favourably receptive when I am all done up than without nary a dab of foundation or lipstick on. Even with a few close ones telling me they know I am capable of thinking rationally and even thinking deeply, my own life experiences have told me a vastly different account. I find my frustrations and anger more validated when I am made up and put together to some degree, instead of having my feelings dismissed because of my perceived cognitive function. In this case, old visual representations of the unkempt, mentally ill person still applies.

I guess on this point, the equivalent for the men would be shaving and dressing well in ironed clothes before going out to face the world. No harm doing all these, especially if it does boost morale in some people, although the main motivators for doing these is pretty harsh of course!

8. IDGAF Syndrome.

This is a fresh development. I’ve been associated with four conditions as far as my visits to the psychological medicine department goes. This week. I happened to gain a mood chart as my psychiatrist thinks my mood is getting ‘bipolar-ish (type 2)’. The amazing thing is, I find myself not caring much at all this time, in contrast to early this year when my cup was filled to the brim because I needed to be medicated for my PTSD /depression. Over time taking medication has become a new normal, much like taking sodium valproate for my controlled epilepsy, I don’t bat an eyelid at all and I’ve become a hardened version of myself 10 months from January this year when I went to the polyclinic as my Plan B becasue I knew I did not have my preferred tools to orchestrate my own death nor the access to them.

As long as I am not in significant psychological pain, I am okay with continuing to live and not doing so grudgingly. The isolation with barely having any social support stays the same, although I do get internally hardened by it. Still, its no big news to me. I’ve always been acquainted with the biting harsh winds of life from a very young age and having no one to rely on, psychologically speaking. Perhaps I’m kind of set up for this.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. bakhita.fung says:

    Thank you for posting this – it is truly insightful. I wish you all the best in 2019 🙂

    Like

    1. wheremabelgo says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting! It means a lot to me that people has benefitted from what I write 🙂

      Like

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