Lying in bed in the psychiatric ward last weekend I felt both exhausted and frustrated with my illness. If you were to compare my mental illness to a broken leg then it would be like that bone completely breaking over and over again. It would be like going through the painful recovery, handing the crutches back to the physiotherapy department and in the middle of the night the bone completely snapping in half leaving you alone, immobile and in unbearable agony but this isn't the first time it has happened, this happens repeatedly.
I've been quite unwell lately and I've somehow lost an entire month along the way. It's been a very quick blur of hell. I hold barely any memories of what has gone on, one day has leapt into the next and the same thought has played on repeat, the same images and fears show themselves as I lay in bed every night and the voice has become crueller, louder and more demanding.
I haven't felt like 'me' for the past four weeks, I haven't laughed and meant it, I haven't done an activity and enjoyed it. To be honest I haven't really participated in life at all and if I've managed to leave the house then I haven't been fully present in where I am and what I am doing. I often think that when I am very unwell it is like being dead except I am physically alive. My thoughts are gone and replaced solely by my illness's thoughts. Conversation stops and my attention from the world is no more as the voice forces me to focus on it. My personality drains out of me and I no longer get enjoyment from anything. I am a mass of bones, skin, blood, muscles and organs. I am in my body but I am not me.
My illness has disconnected me from the world as well as myself. Socially, it's disconnected me from the people around me, convincing me that I am alone through its own isolation. However, it has also disconnected me from the actual world too, as in nature, and I've missed the beautiful moments. The canal disappeared from my view when my mind was full of death, I saw only the waves that touched my toes and not the ocean. It's as though my thoughts have been so dark and heavy that they've dragged my eyelids down and made me unable to see properly.
Lying in bed in the psychiatric ward there wasn't much to see with the blinds closed and my bedroom door shut but the windows were open and as the wind blew the blinds I saw glimpses of the trees through them, a world that I had forgotten was outside and it gave me hope because those trees were there completely even though I could only see a glimpse of them. It's much like mental illness, with mental illness I see glimpses of life occasionally, like feeling the sun on my skin or smiling at someone and seeing them smile back. The little glimpses of life, of freedom from this illness that remind me that it is out there and it is possible.