On Mental Illness and the Latest


I feel like I am moving through life at the pace of a snail. I think of all the things everybody is accomplishing and all the events happening with the beginning of school and busier times at work and I feel frustrated that I am not a part of that world. Or, I am only part of that world to such a minute degree. I use to love that world it filled me with exhilaration and I crammed every minute of it full that I could with people and events to go to. I was at the cusp of life and beginning to accomplish things that I had always dreamed I could accomplish, when I fell ill. You all know ( or most of you know) that story and my battle with mental illness and chronic fatigue.

This battle has forced me to slow down to a great degree. I look and see everyone else so busy and aware of so much around them that I feel lost. I try to get out but it’s not the same having goals now as it is having a job. I’m constantly reminded of that by the “why are you so tired” when people arrive home after a challenging day. As if, I can help the fact that I don’t work and can’t be around people all day accomplishing something and giving back to society. It doesn’t make my time any less valid or useful. But I do try to stay involved with the world to pick up little facts here and there and be aware of what’s going on in the news and in people’s lives. I’m not always able to listen as long as I like but I try to be on the same page as other people. But it’s difficult because explaining how much rest I need or that I am worn out after a couple of hours is frustrating for me and my friends and family.

Sometimes, I just need to be alone. I crave that time when the only noise I hear is the TV or the music from my Ipad. I like the soothing atmosphere I feel when people aren’t up and about doing everything around you, and I can just read my book or write what I need to write. I have always needed this alone time even when I was well but these days I just find I need more of it.

But frustratingly, I hate this alone time as much as I need it. I want to be where things are happening, where people are talking, and I want to be involved in life, not merely an observer. And it drives me crazy how when I finally get to be around people how irritated I feel lately. Irritated because they talk and talk about themselves and although I’m glad to listen, I don’t feel I have place to talk about me or I get this feeling I shouldn’t be talking about me because then I’m just feeling sorry for myself and talking about this horrible illness we call mental illness that people shy away from and stop talking about it when it is brought up in conversation.

Some people try, I know they do, but it is difficult for someone to understand mental illness without some experience of their own whether from themselves or a loved one. I think it’s very important that people with mental illness understand that you or your life is no less important because you can’t do things that other people can do. You are not invalid because you cannot work or socialize the way you’d like to. Also, it is vital to note that an incredibly large number of people with mental illness are extremely smart and/or creative. Why this happens especially to people with those personality traits I don’t know but I think it is good to note that just because someone acts differently then you or has the challenge of mental illness does not make them dumb or talentless.

Doing things with mental illness is often like performing tasks through a veil. If you have a mental illness you always have that problem in front of your face to work around and through as you are dealing with others and going about your daily life. Everybody has this problem to some extent with their own difficulties but it is an excellent way to understand what people mental illness go through each minute of their lives. Mental illness is like carrying all the packs of mountain on a hike while everyone else gets to hike up pack free.

My own difficulties these days are because of a medication I am on called Clozapine. I was actually doing okay and the bad side effects were starting to go away when my body became use to the drug and now I can no longer go to sleep just on that drug. I need some immuvane to help me fall asleep, and I am becoming use to the immuvane really fast. The alternative is to up the Clozapine does and that is about all my alternatives. I was so frustrated at my doctor’s office the other day that I began to cry. I didn’t mean to but it’s horrible to now I will have to experience bad side effects again in order that I may sleep. For now I am not upping the dose but I will have to do it if I want to sleep. But I can’t handle the side effects and take a course in Fall and go downtown when I need to pick up stuff, drop stuff off, or schedule an exam for in the day. But it has become very important to me to get this Residential Design Certificate. It’s like then I can say, I’ve accomplished something these past seven years.

After that life is pretty much, well, whatever I want it to be. I want to get debts paid off. But I also really want to try for a creative writing masters at UBC. I was thinking about applying in the Spring when application time is. I can receive some funding as a disabilities student and I’ll get to write so that won’t be so bad. I am also deciding on whether or not I might like to try some drawing courses in the day somewhere. I am talented in art but I haven’t done it in a while. So who knows where I will go.

After, a four-year relationship the idea of dating is daunting. I always feel as if my illness is a big mark against me. Although, I know some guys won’t care, I know a lot will and it stops me from getting back into the whole dating thing especially when it comes to be able to go out at night and date. I started some online chatting but I am wondering if I just need to deal with my health and school now and if that would be a better thing, then trying to find someone I would like to date. But my friends almost all have husbands and boyfriends and I feel as if I spent to long with A. But sometime I will meet the right person I want to date again. For now, I’m just moving along trying to deal with everything else.

Thanks for reading!

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