Forget the 'mental' and just think 'illness'. I was ill, seriously ill, three times in my life. I was in hospital for three months on each occasion and took a long while afterwards to convalesce. But now I have been well for many years. I do not take medication. I am capable and active - I am married, with four wonderful children, a career and a happy, fulfilling life. Ergo, I am better.
I have been wanting to write this article for an extremely long time. I have stumbled and tormented myself so many times with this piece as to how I could even begin to voice my boulders of darkness. I wanted to translate to you, the reader, the horrific pain mental illness can bring, and to put the raw emotions into words which you will understand
Seeing as it is Mental Health Awareness Week, I thought I might tackle the subject head on with some of my own experiences of the internal workings and internecine battles of my brain. Considering the words that are to follow, I must warn those readers who are triggered by discussion of mental health, anxiety, depression and similar content that this post contains a lot of potentially triggering material, including frank discussion of traumatic experiences.
Choice is, "Shall we paint the bedroom blue or green?" or even "'Shall we start a family?" Choice is not, "Shall I have constant PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) flashbacks?", nor is it, "Shall I be bipolar and be so hard to live with that my partner leaves me?" It is also not, "Shall I feel so depressed that I'll think about ending it all?"