When people used to ask me how I was and I wasn’t okay I would lie and say either “I’m okay” or “I’m fine” but then I vowed to start being honest and to stop hiding that I wasn’t okay and I changed the answer of the question to “I’m struggling” simply a one word difference. It’s an improvement from saying that I’m fine when I’m not but it still doesn’t really give the other person any information other than the fact that things are not totally okay. The next step for me is to tell people what struggling is, what ‘struggling’ means for me and what I need in order to not be struggling but that is far easier to write than to do as I’m sure we all know.
I thought I owed it to this blog, to myself and to my followers to share through the written word what struggling is for me. I suppose I’ve been a bit quiet on here, I thought I was too ill to blog, I didn’t want to own up to the fact I was feeling so poorly but actually that is what this blog is for. I want to break down the barriers through the written word and so I am going to set the example and break down my barriers through the written word.
Struggling for me is a voice, a voice that sometimes whispers, sometimes shouts and occasionally screams at me. It is a voice that has had someone clinging onto my arm on a dual carriageway, a voice that has filled my street with emergency services and a voice that has needed my arm to be bandaged up. Struggling for me is also the exhaustion and tiredness that comes with the broken record thoughts, intrusive thoughts that I do not decide to think “I want to die, I want to die” or “I’m not dead yet, I’m not dead yet” spin around my mind. I do not want to die, I want to live but those thoughts are exhausting and confusing. Struggling is the visions that come into my mind that I also have no control over, I see my rotting skin in a coffin, I see knives in my body being used as puppet strings. These are sickening and gruesome thoughts, thoughts that leave me dizzy, sweating and feeling physically sick. Struggling is the battle between guilt and hunger, the battle between eating too much or too little. Struggling is the eating disorder that ruins my entire life second by second and the bag of unopened food sitting in the bin because I couldn’t stand the thought of it being in the cupboard. Struggling is sitting in an appointment feeling so poorly I can barely speak and swearing at myself for getting my words muddled up and losing my sentence. Struggling is the silent tears that no one sees as well as the breathing that hasn’t been normal for weeks.
It is okay to struggle, it is okay to be poorly. Sometimes getting better isn’t about improving every day or every week, it’s about being ill, accepting it and asking for help. Sometimes I feel like I should only share my wins, but sometimes sharing losses helps too. Recovery is not a one way street, it is a messy spaghetti junction and sometimes the road is closed and you have to reverse for a bit. It’s tiresome, confusing and downright frustrating but it is okay to be unwell and it does not mean you will never be well again.
Today I am struggling but I will not struggle forever. I will fight, reach out for help, distract and medicate my way through to a happier, healthier and successful me. This has not and will not beat me.