I haven’t been able to work for eight months. Most of that time has been spent sitting in my apartment, alone, trying new medications, trying various techniques suggested by my doctor and therapist and just kind of….waiting for time to pass to see if I’m going to beat this thing or not. It’s been rough. It’s been hard. It’s been one long jumble, and most days I can’t believe it’s been as long as it has.
And yet, here we are. Eight months of living in limbo, trying to make things better without much success.
It’s interesting – the people who know me well know the struggle I’ve been facing on a daily basis. They know it’s hard for me to get out of bed. They know my apartment looks like the apartment of someone who has barely been functioning for months…it’s a disaster area, in dire need of a deep cleaning and de-junking. They know it’s not pleasant, and they know it’s not “time off”. Being bombarded by BPD and major depression is like fighting a constant war with myself, and most days I’m not sure if I’m winning the war or not. But, I’m sitting here and writing this, so I must be winning…for now.
And then there are the people who think it must be so nice to not be working – “You must be enjoying having some time for yourself!” “I wish I didn’t have to work and could take time off like you are.”
Yes…I am enjoying having time for myself. It is like a wonderful holiday, and I never want it to end.
Unless someone has had their own personal experiences dealing with multiple mental illnesses, the majority of people have no idea just how unpleasant and HARD things are. It is fucking HARD to get out of bed every day, and some days I don’t make it. My hair doesn’t get brushed for a week (or more) which means I haven’t showered for that long either. About 3 months into this thing, I cut off all my hair…it used to be down past my waist, but not being taken care of for that length of time in between brushings made it almost impossible to deal with. A lot of it also fell out due to the general stress I was experiencing, and it was just too much. But it’s just hair…it’ll grow back, and I know that.
If you have someone in your life who is currently unable to work due to mental illness, please do not minimize their struggle. Be supportive. Instead of telling them it must be nice not to have to work, ask them if there’s something you can do to help make things a little easier for them. Maybe they want you to bring them some food, or just be there to talk. When people are in this state, we are extremely vulnerable, even if the majority of us won’t admit it. It’s a hard place to be, and although we may say no 100 times when you offer your help, there may just be that one time where, instead of the “no” you’re used to, you get a “yes”.
We need friends and family to help us get through the rough patches. And even if it all seems like one gigantic rough patch, eventually it’s going to get better.
I am currently taking things one day at a time. Sometimes one hour at a time. And sometimes one minute at a time. Because every minute of every day is a struggle, and it’s exhausting.
But I’m still going, and if you’re reading this then you are too, and that’s all that matters.