Promised myself I wouldn't weep.

Friday, 29 November 2013

The thing with having long term invisible illness' is that you're either written off or else people assume that you're over it.  It's the ongoing part that people struggle to digest.  That and the general gross misunderstanding of mental illness.

If you have a migraine or a broken leg, you suffer and then it gets better.  If you have a terminal disease you either recover or you die.

If you're slashing at your wrists, having hallucinations and delusional whilst crying 24/7, you're depressed enough to warrant being depressed. The depression is visible and thus real. If you have situation or event triggered depression, people will molly coddle you for a while then it's a 'there, there dear. You'll be okay soon' which translates roughly as 'Oh gosh, how terrible! I don't know how you cope.' which then turns to a 'pull your socks up' after they deem you've had long enough to 'get over it'.

Yet, If you suffer from long term depression, anxiety or personality disorders that was triggered by nothing other than faulty wiring or genes, people rarely know what to do.  They understand neither the longevity nor the peak and troughs that accompany it. You're not seen as ill, you're just flaky and mercurial. You obviously can't have Social Anxiety because they saw you say hello to someone last week.  You're obviously not depressed because a few days ago they saw you smile and Egads, laugh. You, you faker you!

The thing with invisible illness' is, people only accept them in their most visible moments.  They only see the mask.

Mental illness isn't just about the darkness, It's the torturous rays of light that momentarily blind and panic you too.  It isn't just about the blackness, it's the fifty shades of choking grey in-between.  It's not just the drowning, it's the unexpected hard slaps that put you off balance.

It's not that you're okay or even not okay, it's the varied struggle of trying to be okay.  It's the soul cracking realisation that you may never be okay enough, again.

& the mask keeps slipping.

11 comments:

  1. No words. Sorry you're having to deal with this daily :(

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  2. You have my sympathies. It's the same with MS too. "Oh! You wouldn't know you have it. You look so well!" As reassuring as that is to hear sometimes, there are days when the physical and emotional side is so tough, you wish it was blatantly obvious to the outside world, to 'prove' how hard and draining it can be. As the great Freddie Mercury once said "my smile still stays on."

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    1. Just like M.E too, although I imagine it's not as severe as MS it's also invisible, people just don't 'get' it. At all. They think it's 'just' being tired.

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  3. Bless you, so many illnesses like this are misunderstood. Sounds like you deserved the gin x

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  4. I don't like the stigma that comes along with mental illness. Yes it is an illness just like MS and thankfully there are drugs out there to try and help you so that you can feel somewhat normal. I too suffer from depression and have most of my adult life. It sucks because no one understands, even my own mom told me to just get over it. Doesn't work that way.

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  5. I have bipolar (ii) disorder. The only times my illness is visible is when I'm rapid cycling. I cycle through every emotion you can think of, twice. When I'm in the abyss or manic, people assume I'm either a miserable cow or a bit loony tunes. They're not far wrong, lol.
    After so many years of muttered comments and unwanted "buck up" talks, I've started hitting people between the eyes with it. If someone makes a comment about me being "a bit down", I tell them, "I'm bipolar, if you stick around for a while, I'm bound to cycle through a mood that suits you."
    I'm not nasty, I'm rather tongue in cheek about it. It's odd how some run a mile in the opposite direction when they find out. They're obviously afraid that my crazy is contagious.

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  6. You're a good writer. Hugs from Arizona!

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  7. Well said. X I have what I think would be called functional depression and have been on anti depressants most of my life. When I tell people they look incredulous as if I must be exaggerating. It's tough but after a lot of counselling and reining training it has gotten much better and more manageable. Keep up the good work of raising awareness. Love and blessings

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