Why Living With a Mental Illness Gets 'Boring'
It gets boring when I don’t get better. It gets boring when the same horrendous thoughts travel through my mind at 100 mph — the same thoughts that made yesterday so difficult claim my today as their own to ruin.
It gets boring, saying to the same friends, who I let down last week, that I still feel too tired, or anxious, or depressed or ill to see them this week. It gets boring inventing more non-existent plans to excuse myself from parties, hen parties or baby showers I can’t attend because even the thought of them sends me into utter panic.
It gets boring, speaking to the same doctor, week after week, to review my lack of progress. It gets boring, convincing her I’m not suicidal and I am able to take myself to the emergency room I become that way before the same conversation next week.
It gets boring, suddenly feeling euphorically happy and rapidly expending all energy by speaking far too quickly, as I try to convince almost anyone who will listen that I have a plan to save the world, make millions or live forever. All the while, I’m physically shaking so much I can’t even drink a cup of tea. Actually, it becomes boring trying to make a cup of tea — a task that has been known to take three hours, as I am distracted by every thought that must be acted on with a desperate sense of urgency.
It gets boring, realizing for the third time in a month that the manic energy was just a brief state of mind and the darkest, debilitating depression is somehow still there.
It gets boring, having the same Q&A session with myself every single night regarding the pros and cons of taking the antipsychotic, mood stabilizing or tranquilizing medication, and it gets boring every morning wondering if the tiredness I feel is due to the said medications or a persistent symptom of the severe depression.
I believe it all gets boring for my friends, doctors, nurses, colleagues, acquaintances because let’s face it — I believe treatment-resistant mental health problems are boring. There are no eye-catching headlines saying, “She’s the same as she has been for the last five years.” There are no anecdotes to be told about that time when I felt exactly the same amount of chaos as I do today. There are no “Get Well” cards to be written and no concerned friends; no one can be concerned indefinitely.
But truth be told, I wish I could be a bit more bored. What I feel is a failure, anxious, unstable and unpredictable.
Please put your boredom aside and give me a hug, or listen to me tell you my “crazy plans.” It is really scary when it feels like people are too bored to care.
Not everyone with a mental health problem is cured by having a mate “in their corner,” but it makes it a bit less lonely.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.
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Thinkstock photo via MariaDubova