"Of all God's creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat." - Mark Twain

Monday, August 12, 2013

Voices Anonymous

I guess the day has finally come when I start this blog back up. I had hoped to generally leave it behind as a testament to my past but my past caught up with me last night. It had to happen, I guess, but it's easy to hope as the days quietly pass, that the voices will be gone forever.

It's just not so.

I was informed this weekend that I need to have blood drawn for some tests. Since my near-fatal pregnancy, I've had blood pressure problems and now I'm having twinges in my chest and I'm overheating badly with the air conditioner on 71. Putting off tests isn't a luxury I can afford so when I found I needed to do this, the panic switch flipped on and a few voices found their way out.

The first voice is a young, feminine voice who tells me that it's my husband's fault for "making me" contact my sister for medical advice. The second voice is masculine and he tells me I can't trust my sister - that she's punishing me for "bothering her" by forcing me to have blood drawn. The third voice is that of an older lady. It's very soothing and comforting which makes me trust it the least. Between all these voices, I heard weird noises: cracks, pops, whistles, music, whispers, etc.

When I got home, I took all my medication and went to bed. I haven't heard the voices today but I have to deal with the fact that I might. My brain has been relatively quiet for three years. Now I must face again the fact that I am mentally ill.

I must also consider how much of this I want to write here. I have no difficulty sharing my thoughts and feelings as you well know; however, some of my friends are concerned for me and have encouraged me to be more circumspect. I will be doing a lot of thinking before I post more details than this but I am still committed to helping people understand mental illness and not fear us so much.

What I've learned in this long break from blogging is that there is hope. There is a possibility for a better life. But there is also the truth - that illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder rarely (if ever) just "go away." They are usually lifelong illness which require lifelong commitments from the patient, the family, and the support team. You may get a break but you will probably never see an end to the illness until death.

If you are dealing with this, please get professional help. If you are a caregiver, please do the same. You need it and you are worth it.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you see a lightening of the load soon. Your friends are right, of course -- there's only so much you can post online and stay safe, but that still gives you PLENTY of opportunity to vent. And blogging is somehow different from private, unshared writing. This may be the best time in history to have mental-health issues. You can talk about it openly, find more understanding and empathy and less fear and superstition than ever before, and things will continue in the right direction as time goes by. I wish you all the best. Please update as you can.