Before I start this blog, I can genuinely say it’s not about anyone in particular or any incident. I read something on Twitter & it reminded me of several occasions when it crops up.
If you suffer with anxiety, depression or any other form of mental health, like a personality disorder. The first thing people think is… “it’s just her condition”, “it’s just how she is”, “she can’t help it”. Sometimes I’ll be honest this offers a much wanted get of jail free card, and might be true. Sometimes it’s a negative feeling, like my thoughts or ideas can’t be validated. And sometimes, do you know what, I do have good ideas, genuine feelings & take actions that are about me & not my condition.
My mental health condition or diagnosis doesn’t define me, it’s part of who I am. Hopefully I am still the best mum I can be, often funny (or I think I am), loud & annoying, caring, hard-working, ambitiuous, girly, grieving, in love my husband & want to work for a living. I’m a daughter, a mother, a wife, a sister & a friend. I am more than Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. It’s a horrible name. But there’s more tags that could be added to my personality, some nicely, done rather embarrassingly. I’m a terrible singer & dancer! I can be awfully embarrassing at events when my children are competing, cheering on the sidelines, I can be needy & panic if I don’t get a response to a text instantly.
At times it can be heartbreaking when my thoughts are cast aside because I have a diagnosis! Imagine if someone with a broken leg couldn’t have an opinion or idea… “it’s just his/ her leg talking”, although a talking leg would be worth talking about!
Health is health, mental or psychical, we’re all on the scale of both & we all move up and down both scales. Some people never get super physically or mentally fit, and some people never reach rock bottom with their worst mental or psycigcak heakth, but we’re all on there.
This week I have received some amazing understanding, support & encouragement. This has come from strangers, tweeting me to my sisters helping in my last minute events plans, to my work who have praised my improvements in the workplace & published my blog on my mental health journey at work.
I’m touched and feel like there is a change occurring, that we can talk about it & now the change needs to take place in the speed in which people are treated. And also what happens in the gap from first referral to treatment. The NHS is trying.
I know some people think it’s not a laughing matter. I agree that there are aspects that aren’t, but if me, my husband, family & friends didn’t make jokes about me then it would mean they didn’t know me & they were allowing it to define me.
I love being a “fruit-loop”, my own name. Not to put myself down, it actually makes me think of colourful tasty cereal which has an acquired taste. That’s me. I can’t expect everyone to like me just because I’m a little bit crackers!
When I’m down, I don’t mean suicidal, I just mean a little anxious, I’ll say to my husband, they say relationships can’t successfully survive this condition, how have we lasted 16 years & 12 years married? He’ll joke back, laughing, “there’s still time!” I need that & I laugh.
Of course my friends & family have had to learn to read my mood, before joking, but overall, with me, humour is the best medicine (& I still take all the regular medicines, which I’ll probably be on for life). My diagnosis shouldn’t define me, & I try not to let it. I like being a joker & have the mickey taken out of me. If I stopped that, I’d no longer be me.
At work it’s the same, I’m not treated any differently and daily the work colleagues who sit near me are laughing at me frequently. But I love it and make me me!
If you’re struggling with a recent diagnosis, not got one, or feel it’s wrong, don’t let it get to you. I know it’s easier said than done, but you are you. Everyone evolves and changes, but you is still in there. You can do this & theres so many people out there that want to support you, strangers and friends alike! I know I’m fortunate. I have family & friends, but out of everything, it is my girls that keep me going daily
3 thoughts on “Mental health judgements – I am more than my diagnosis!”
Disorders like autism and ADHD can be very trying for the person concerned, and their relatives. I know, I have two autistic grandchildren.My autistic grand-daughter wants to be an actress, and I think this is her best bet. When you’re an actress, you’re allowed to be a fruitcake!
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That’s so true! I’m sure she’d be fabulous x
Fruit loop – love it!
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