After thinking for around a minute about the title of this post, it is finally being written. Huzzah!
To give some context to that sentence: thinking about things for a minute is not something I do. It’s terrifying to think that I thought about that for such a short amount of time so I’m going to have to keep forging on with this so that I don’t have a chance to go back and put the more normally occurring hours worth of thought into a sentence (technically two but who’s keeping track?).
I’m 25 tomorrow. It’s basically the thing that has galvanised me into actually starting to write this. ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if I started a blog the day before my birthday?’ was my thought process. I was hoping that the looming topic of marked older-ness would help structure my thoughts and obviously that worked out.
I looked up a page on how to write a blog before I started, all very interesting but I imagine I’ll end up ignoring most of its advice. This isn’t out of misguided confidence (or even earned confidence), it’s because once I have a rule in my head it is nigh on impossible to change it without some serious mental anguish on my part and once a rule is set, it is followed rather dogmatically.
These kind of things are what this blog thing is most likely to be about. My personal experiences of how the ‘Me’ shaped gear doesn’t quite fit into the machine of human society.
After quickly attempting to brush away reflections about how no one else could discuss my personal experiences in the same way I can (and consequently failing), I’ll actually look to talk about something with a modicum of structure.
There are lots of posts and videos going around talking about things like this https://youtu.be/Bor9xVnbIz8 . I believe they have a good point. Sadly the video isn’t as absurd to me as I think it is intended to be.
I have a long history of mental health problems. First diagnosis at 13 (I think? It may be 14, memories of that time isn’t my strongest subject). That’s quite a while. I imagine I’ll get into more of the saga as these blog posts appear.
Anyhoo, these videos topics aren’t absurd to me because I consistently get ‘hmm, well you are quite anxious’ or ‘your stress levels are likely to be high at the moment’ when I have any aches, pains, fevers, coughs, inability to walk, sharp shooting pains in my arms and legs or just a minor complete numbness in my extremities.
Now I understand that many things can happen to the body when the mind isn’t doing great (they are parts of a connected whole after all) but when every single thing that is wrong is attributed to mental health problems by ‘physical doctors’ it doesn’t help the situation at all.
I said ‘physical doctors’ to lead into this next bit (Wait, structured thought process?! Neuter him!).
The ‘physical doctors’, for example: GPs, point me towards the mental health service when I go to them. I go to the mental health service aaaand: ‘if you have physical concerns you should speak to your GP’.
This wasn’t an isolated incident either. These things have repeatedly happened for the last 10 years.
It all began with a ‘neck injury’, so that was; strapped to a bed for 24 hours, paralysis in my left side, lots of MRIs and other scans, random tests in which I had no idea what was happening or why they were being done, people throwing around terms like ‘stroke’ and ‘broken neck’ and ‘spinal injury’. Oh and lots of strong pain killers let’s not forget the pain killers that did nothing for the pain but dulled my mind to a level where I had no idea what was going on but was still awake and absorbing stuff.
Once ‘neck injury’ was decided to be wrong, ‘Somatization Disorder’ appeared. I had my first mental health diagnosis. I won’t go into details but if anyone is interested, this is the best information I’ve seen: https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/problemsanddisorders/medicallyunexplainedsymptoms.aspx
Huh. The page grew sideways. Strange.
I reckon it was the day I got that diagnosis that set me up to live this cycle of being like the titular device in the game Pass the Bomb.
Once I was assigned another big diagnosis in 2012, I reckon I was pretty much rolled into a ball and painted black with my mind set alight. I might as well have ACME written on my back.
In case it wasn’t blindingly obvious, that was my attempt at some sort of hook or cliff hanger. I should definitely look into writing Soaps. Not writing in soap, the soap gets under my fingernails.
As the esteemed reader can probably guess, my brain has fallen off the couple of tracks it was running on to start this post and is once again back on at least five. I have no idea if this is even a tinsy bit coherent but I’m not going to go back over it and check because it will never get posted if I do.
If you’ve made it this far then you’ve done better than me.
This post was mainly brought to you by Prospekt’s March and my thanks go to Glass of Water in particular.