GOODBYE CHARLOTTE DAWSON


It’s been a rough weekend.

I had a total meltdown on Friday night after a build up of stresses got the better of me. After taking my frustrations out on my partner, I ran off taking the keys to the car and ended up in a park down the road in the dark by myself sitting on a swing in a completely hysterical state just crying.

Classic Bipolar episode, luckily I was lucid enough to tell my partner where I was so he could walk to where I was, as I was in no state to drive.

I’ve been stressed for weeks and it just got too much, a complete emotional overload.

I was stressed about dealings with a creative agency I’d been trying to work with to get my blog to where I want it to be within my small budget.

I was stressed about issues with my parents and their separation and the toll it was taking on my relationship with my mum.

I was stressed about the house and cleaning. I’d been stressed about my health and my weight. I’d been stressed about my partner and his work.

I was stressed about my “coming out” and the future of the work I’ll been doing wanting to educate about mental health and reducing the stigma attached with it. I was especially stressed about what people would now think of me. Even though I didn’t care. Or did I?

I was stressed about the violence in the world and the future and everything I'd seen on the news.

I was been stressed about the lack of friends I have, and the loneliness I felt at times.

And the list goes on…

Sadly, this is not an uncommon event. When these stresses get too much I just “flip”, the emotions build up like a storm and it explodes into a whirlwind of emotion and I just need to run away and cry.

It’s such an overwhelming sensation that consumes me and feels like it will never end. Prior to my diagnosis, I use to self medicate heavily when this happened.

Friday night, for the first time in many years I returned to that behavior, my partner managed to find me after sculling 1 bottle of red wine. I was lucky.

Returning to this behaviour is indicative that I’m not coping with things at the moment.

It took a little while for my partner to calm me down, lots of hugs, loving words and assurances – but this is not easy, and I was agitated and emotional for quite some time after.

Then, on Saturday, I heard about the tragic loss of the amazing and beautiful Charlotte Dawson, who I had the absolute pleasure of meeting once.


The outpour of grief on social media for Charlotte was abundant and it was beyond incredible to see so many people talking about mental illness and offering their support. 

But then I started to get a little angry and sad...

I started looking at profiles of people/friends that I know who have known about my condition to see what they had written, and again an outpouring of support saying things like "they will always be there to support a friend or anyone in need if they are going through anything or have a mental illness". 

I was shocked. Not once had I ever received a message, phone call, a visit from any of these people offering help or support. And I was just one person on their life.

When you’re depressed, manic, anxious, or experiencing any form of emotional despair, it can be hard to reach out and ask for help. Sometimes you don't even want to talk to anyone! As a community, we need to be more aware of the signs and symptoms and be proactive.

It made me realise, it’s easy to type a few words on your keyboard publicly “supporting mental illness”, it’s a completely different story to be actively supporting the cause. If you know of someone who has a mental illness, texting a friend to see how they are, offering to clean their apartment or do the dishes when they can’t get out of bed, bringing over food or cooking them dinner to make sure they eat. Getting them to have a shower when they haven’t for days, lying next to them on the couch holding their hand just so they can feel human contact. Or in my case Friday night, walking for blocks to a park to make sure I was safe and not hurt.

That support, could save a life.

What you do in public is all well and good, it’s what you do behind closed doors that matters.

If you need support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 



Comments

  1. Let me tell you, you don't need to have a mental illness to feel what you have felt.

    We ALL get overwhelmed by things and many of what you listed I was nodding my head to because I have had to deal with those exact same things over the last few years.

    I had a company running my website who wouldn't even answer my emails, I dumped them and got a new one. And even though there are still issues going on at least they answer most of my emails.

    I'm stressed over caring for my mother 24/7 which means I have no life, no social life, no partner, no children and don't get to do what I want, when I want, and how I want. I'm 40 in May and while I have done much online, I have done nothing in real life and I'm over it. I'm over my life being wasted caring for a woman who does not care for me. My life is essentially over because of the life I am living.

    I stress about the housework because my mother refuses to throw anything out and throws tantrums if I try to clean up.

    I stress about my own health and weight because nothing I do helps me lose weight and I have a bad back and severe sciatica.

    I'm stressed about getting my jewellery business to the point I want it at but after 5 years of trying had to concede that caring for my mother was in the way and it had to revert to a "part time" hobby even though I still try and run it like a business. It needs to step aside while other things are in the way.

    We all have stresses and yes, they will be worse for those with mental illness, but you are not alone, we all have the same problems we just deal with them differently. Believe me, I've beaten up my computer mouse for not behaving properly so that shows even small things set me off.

    I HATE it when simple things don't work and life doesn't go easy. Unfortunately, life was never meant to be easy and apparently the universe only throws things at us it "knows" we can deal with. Problem is, I'm sick of bloody dealing with them and just want to retire to the Gold Coast and sit on the beach for the rest of my life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gosh jewel diva style you need help! You probably are suffering from burn out and stress and that should not be ignored! Go see your doctor and ask for help and be willing to accept that help. Don't soldier on because of obligation or fear of failure. Look after yourself first. Get help. Take care.

      Delete
  2. I totally relate to both of you. Life sucks big time some times. It is so true that people need to help and support pratically, not just by words on a public forum. When we are depressed and down and out we cant even ask for help. We need those who love us just to intervene, to hug us, to listen, to put us in the shower, to make us get dressed, to just be there. Words are empty with out follow theough action.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Life is hard. Sure there are magical moments/days. But all in all - life is hard. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed I find it hard to breathe. Hard to get out of bed, let alone function.

    People to say to ask for help. If only it were that easy. Your mind is usually numb. It is almost impossible to know where to start because your mind is everywhere and you make little sense to yourself let alone trying to explain to another. Your insides are twisting and your heart feels as though it is going to burst at any moment. Your mind races down so many dark alleys trying to work out a way to escape but usually always gets lost up that dark alley, which makes it so much harder to try and find other alleys.You become more and more introverted and asking someone for help gets harder and harder. At times you know people are trying to help and you love them for it but it only makes you realise they don't get at all what you are trying to say. because they have not been where you are. And in turn you feel more alienated and alone. My grandmother suffered manic depression and my father is bi-polar. I am on anti-anxiety tablets which for the most part have been my saviour. There are though, still some very dark times which I generally face alone. I hear some people call their depression demons. For me it is like heavy weights that at times are so heavy I cannot move. They sit on my shoulders, heart and mind. At times my whole body to the point I cannot get out of bed. Sleep takes away the dark and depression and at times I will sleep 6 to 8 hours during the day just so I don't feel the pain. Try and explain that to someone who has never been there...

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  4. Thank you for opening up Anon - it's something that can never be explained to someone who doesn't experience it day in and day out. But by opening the lines of communication and talking about, all we can do is try and educate to reduce the stigma attached to people who suffer from mental illness. That was my purpose of "coming out" and using my blog to talk about my day to day life of living with bipolar. It's not always pretty but it's real.
    Wish you love and peace xx

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