I like periods of wellness. It’s….nice. It’s nice not to be plotting my own demise at every spare moment, it’s nice not to be curled up in a ball crying because I just can’t cope, it’s nice when there are things and activities I want to participate in and it’s nice when misery is not all that’s crowding my mind. It’s easier to want to be well when things are already pretty okay. It’s then not so hard to imagine what it may be like. In contrast, when things aren’t so great, it’s hard to see a way out, and harder to let go of mental illness. It starts to feel like a part of who you are, a part of who you always will be.
I feel less of a need to blog when I’m not consumed by sadness and also less of a need to read other people’s blogs. The opposite is true when I’m not so well. I feel drawn to reading about mental health issues, desperate to know I’m not alone. While it does serve that purpose, I suspect it can also become a perpetuating cycle where it isn’t exactly doing my mood any favours. And even when I am quite well, it can still be a danger.
Needing to prove how awful I feel is something I struggle with, and wanting to compete for who’s the sickest is something I feel compelled to do. It can then become quite triggering for me when I read or hear about how unwell someone is. When someone is in hospital. When someone’s attempted suicide. When someone’s lost X amount of weight and now has a BMI of an average 12 year old. When someone has friends, family, partners, relatives, professionals all worried about them. When someone’s self harmed to the point of needing stitches. I found out through Facebook my room mate when I was inpatient at H Clinic almost exactly a year ago is currently back in hospital for her eating disorder. And even though I really don’t like H Clinic, it’s still somewhat triggering to read about it all on Facebook.
Knowing this, sometimes it can be good to take a step back from it all. Participate in other aspects of my life- aspects which don’t involve being sick with mental health issues.