Confession time. Consciously or otherwise, I’ve been censoring my writing this last few weeks, possibly longer. Why? I’m embarrassed, and I’m ashamed, and I’m incredibly self conscious about what people may be thinking. Mostly this is around work. As I’ve said before, I have no idea who is reading this, and no way of finding out (apart from coming straight out and asking people, which might be a tad awkward to just slip into the conversation over coffee). I’m scared of being judged. I don’t want people to feel awkward around me, or that they have to treat me in any way differently. Honestly, unless you know me well, it’s unlikely you’d know there was a problem, I’m quite remarkably good at happy face. Mostly the only change you might notice is that I’m less sociable and less inclined to make eye contact. That and words bigger than marmalade tend to confuse me.
So why am I writing about this now? Because when I started the blog, I wanted to be honest. It helps me figure things out. But, in censoring myself, I’m hampering that process. The last couple of months have been as rough as hell between med changes, side effects, lack of focus, lack of concentration and rapid mood swings. On top of that, the blog hasn’t been working as well for me, because I’ve been holding back.
|I learned something new just now. Honesty is also a plant.|
As I see it, I now have two choices. Stop writing entirely, because really, if I’m not going to be honest, then it defeats the whole purpose of doing this. Or, keep going, but take the blinkers off (or as Therapist so eloquently put it today – don’t do the sesame street version). For some reason, this seems a scarier prospect than starting out with the blog in the first place. But, I need this space. I need the focus that it gives me, the chance to think things through, or else just get rid of whatever it is that’s on my mind. And, I want to keep showing people what the reality of depression (or whatever other label may be coming my way) actually is. All of it. The tears, the frustration, the obstacles, the side steps, the hills, the seemingly never ending struggle to just manage it and get on with life. But also, the learning that’s coming with all of that, and the slow gradual process of finding a way of living with this that works for me, and my family. I want to keep working towards normalising it, both for myself and anyone who may be reading. I’ve fallen back into the old trap of being ashamed of having a mental illness, and trying to keep it hidden, and that’s given Bitchface a voice again. I’m starting to genuinely believe again that this is all my fault, that I’ve brought it on myself, that I’m not trying hard enough, it’s not depression it’s just me etc etc etc. (This thought process is on a continuous loop and it’s wearing me down big time). I have to turn this around, now, before things get any worse, because right now I’m on extremely thin ice.
So, here’s my decision. I’m going to keep going, keep writing. Censoring myself is perpetuating the very stigma that I’ve been working so hard to do away with, and it’s starting to impact on how I’m doing in a big way. It’s rubbish constantly having to write about the hard times, but unfortunately that’s the reality of where I’m at right now. I have to be honest. It won’t be like this forever, but I don’t know how long it will take to work things out. So until then, there may be posts that are less than optimistic, but I’m hopeful I’ll find a silver lining somewhere. There will still be interludes of irreverent silliness over on facebook.
For any of you reading this, work folk or otherwise, please feel free to talk to me about this, any time. I’d rather there were no elephants in the room, it all gets a bit awkward and doesn’t help anyone. I promise I won’t cry on you!!