10 Oct I choose
It is world mental health day so as a treat you can read about my never-ending mental problems. September, I made a plan. I set a 30-day plan of fun things to do I was raring to go I went sea swimming at sunrise, built sandcastles, ate scones but then roll on to the 16th and as always, my PTSD reared its ugly head and down I spiralled into sadness. I happen every September. My sister’s birthday brings me more trauma than her death day. 3rd June is always sad, always bad memories but her birthday brings snapshots of the good times. The parties, blowing candles on a cake. My family when we were five before the divorce and the death. It is never a surprise that I silently pack my griefcase and drag it Around For the remainder of the month.
My PTSD comes in all sorts of shapes. This September it was sadness and loneliness. Mostly exhaustion. I am so tired. I am tired of not healing. I am tired of carrying all this weight of hurt and loss. I am tired of wanting to live my life but the knots of anxiety tie me to my sofa. I am tired of doing all the things. I am tired of being on scrolling but then feeling panicky when I am not. I am tired of choosing other people’s happiness over my own.
I did a big yolo and enrolled in college to study mental health and wellbeing. If I am going to live with this then I want to understand it more. I do not want to be my mental health I want to understand, nurture, and embrace mental health. We choose to have good health in the foods we eat, the exercise we do, the water we drink but we still in 2021 fin it difficult to have good mental health. We take on too much, we isolate, we are “British” bout things. We suck it up and just get on with it. We hear from our peers that mental health was not a problem back in my day you just got on with it. We are snowflakes.
I do not choose to be the way I am. If people think I would rather have anxiety which not only stops me fully living the truly short life I have but causes me physical pain, sweating, running around in sheer panic for a toilet due to the anxiety shits (yep, I’m a girl and I get the worst shits imaginable from being anxious). Its hideous and embarrassing but also means I lose weight, have fainting spells and increased heart rates which in turn makes my shit heart even worse. I do not go out in worry of getting the shits. Sometimes I do not eat in hope I wont ned to shit (it does not work). So why, dear reader, would I choose this life? If it were as simple as just getting on with it wouldn’t I just choose to do that?
I heard this quote from Nadiya Hussain that won bake off it is as follows…
“A huge part of my recovery is knowing that I am not going to recover”
And there it is. I know I will not ever recover from my PTSD. How can I when it stemmed from a death. The only way I could recover is to have my sister back or to erase every single memory of her. That wont ever happen. I have to find tools and means of coping and moving forward. Medication does not work for me. I am unfortunately too poor to afford weekly therapy why is what I need. So, I am left to my own devices to find the right pieces of the jigsaw that fit my broken soul.
I choose walks in the sunshine. I choose sunshine people. I choose cups of tea and biscuits. I choose solo adventures. I choose movies with my kids. I choose letting tears flow whenever they need too. I choose strength. I choose resilience. I choose quiet days. I choose dancing. I choose staying in bed if that is what I need to do. I choose being with friends. I choose solitude. I choose the beach.
Mostly, I choose to hold my PTSD’s hand and walk through this life together as weird friends. Sometimes I will be the one that walks slightly ahead. I will be skipping on the sunny side of the path. Other times she will be in charge but I am not going to shy away from those days because they are just days.
This is not my life. This is just a part of it.
I suppose that could be classed as getting on with it.
I choose life.