This might be more of a sad blog post this time around because, well, I’m a little sad. I’ve sat down to write this post almost everyday for the last week but I just couldn’t bring myself to write anything of any real substance. I’m tired and life has been a bit tough the last few weeks.
Just before Iceland I wrote about my stress-induced tummy ulcer. It’s shit craic. Turns out I can’t just medicate the problem away as easily as I thought I could. This whole situation is as a result of stress and my anxiety being totally out of control again. It’s mad because I’ve been handling day to day challenges relatively fine which is why it’s been hard to try and explain what’s going on to people. But over the last month or two, particularly the last month I’ve completely spiralled. I seem to be spending my life vomming these days and can’t keep food down at all. I have completely lost my appetite and with that, all my energy. I’ve lived mostly on soup and fruit the last few weeks and because of all this I’ve lost quite a lot of weight to the point where I can’t really afford to lose anymore. So, as well as medicating the ulcer I have been put back on anti- anxiety meds. Just short-term, while there’s still a lot going on in my little world to stop me from losing any more weight and to keep me above water.
Anyone who’s followed my blog for a while now knows that I’ve been on medication for my mental health before and after a sum of about 6 years of inadequate health care services and treatment I went to America and took myself off the medication Ad Hoc and worked so hard on myself and haven’t looked back since. So, to be put back on medication feels like an almighty blow.
The doctors this time around have been brilliant and have assured me it’s only a short- term solution. It’s all still a bit shite though. I can recognise however, that maybe it’s necessary for the moment.
It’s mad because I haven’t thought properly about the stigma surrounding Mental Health particularly in relation to myself in a long time. I’m so open about my mental health that I’ve gotten to the stage where I just don’t care what people think anymore. I am so open with my emotions. I talk about how I’m feeling all the time with those closest to me because I didn’t in previous years and I have since learnt my lesson. I believe so much that a problem shared is a problem halved and I think that if we were all more open about what’s going on in our heads we would all feel a whole bunch less lonely and afraid. That’s one of the main purposes of this blog.
This last week though, I have felt the stigma. I was fine about discussing the prospect of medication with my closest pals and family before it happened. But, the minute I started the medication I completely shut everyone out. I felt a little ashamed and embarrassed. (I know this is ridiculous and I hate myself for thinking that way.) I’m the girl who’s gone through it all and has always won. I’ve gotten used to winning. This time though, I kind of feel like I’ve lost to life a bit and that’s really hard to swallow.
People have a funny perception of medication for mental health and it’s been such a long time since the last time I had this realisation. I have always maintained that in the height of my mental health difficulties medication was absolutely necessary and in no uncertain terms kept me alive. It was 100% the best decision for me at the time and if our country was in any way efficient mental health wise, I would have been properly looked after and monitored and would have been off them significantly sooner than I was.
People have said things along the lines of: ‘you don’t seem anxious, are you sure you need it?’ I don’t need to justify my decision but it wasn’t one I made lightly and I simply can’t carry on like this.
I’m fairly sure that I made the best decision for me and my body but it’s all just a lot to process. Like I said though, this is a short- term solution until I properly get to the bottom of everything and give my brain a little spring cleaning.
During my Welfare Campaign someone questioned by ability to do the job because of my mental health difficulties in the past. At the time I remember thinking to myself: ‘ah fuck you, you don’t know me and what I’m capable of’ and moved on, not giving the comment a second thought. The day I started my medication I sat there wondering if that person had been right.
I have taken the time to properly think through my situation and I have decided that what that person said about me during the campaign was bullshit. I am more than capable of everything that anybody else in the role could do. Sometimes it takes a little more effort or persistence but I reckon, I’ve shown Maynooth that I have and will continue to do the best that I can; which I now believe is absolutely good enough. I have always been proud of what I’ve overcome and completely believe that my mental health has made me who I am today. This situation is no different.
I’ve had a couple of students lately facing similar situations and saying similar things to what I’ve been thinking, which is why I decided to write this post. How hypocritical it would be of me to sit back and tell others to look at going on medication as a positive step in the right direction, to look forward to what the future will bring and to absolutely never be embarrassed or ashamed of taking medication for their health, Mental or Physical; while secretly not being able to own my own story.
So I am here to tell you that whether or not I know you, or I know what’s going on, we are going to get through this together. One baby step at a time. I’ll make a commitment to not be ashamed or embarrassed of my heath and you do the same. I’ll make a commitment to reprioritise self- care and just generally be kind to myself and again, you do the same.
My good pal Gregory told me the other day that life is all about balance and that balance isn’t a straight line. That balance is all about the ups and downs and how we move forward. Well, I’m on a little down hill at the moment but you know what, the hill is about to start sloping back up again!
I’ve spent a lot of time painting and writing and spending good, chill time with close friends and my pupper, whom I can’t help but feel happy around. ❤️ I just gotta look after myself a little extra and be selfish for a while now, I think…
Anyways, keep tippin’ along everyone. We’re all going to be fine after a few deep breaths and a hug or two. Be kind to those around you and to yourself. The sun will come out tomorrow, it always does. ☀️💛
Smile always, beautiful people. We can and will all get through this whole mad life thing together. If you’re struggling reach out and don’t suffer on your own; like I said a problem shared is a problem halved.
Kimbo. x 🌻🍄💛🐥💐