I always say with Schizophrenia I have “good days and bad days”. And let me tell you when I say bad it’s a slight under exaggeration. These kinds of days leave me struggling to do the simplest of tasks and it basically feels like I’m going to die. I usually know within the first few minutes of waking up if it is going to be a bad day. There is one particularly important day that takes place in some people’s lives – their wedding day. I always wondered what I would do if my big day turned out to be one of those bad days. When I got engaged I started to consider the possibility of this more seriously. I didn’t dwell on it though, no use worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet. Weddings involve far too much stress and planning already without fretting over hypothetical situations. It’s like rain on your wedding day, there is nothing you can do about it, if it’s meant to happen it will. You can organise everything down to the last napkin but there’s no controlling the weather. Apologises for getting that Alanis Morrissett song stuck in your head.
One of the biggest problems I face with Schizophrenia is sleep is almost impossible. There is no way to sugar coat this – the voices keep me up at night. Sometimes all night, sometimes every night for days on end until I’m literally delirious with exhaustion. Thus creating another pre-wedding jittery problem – what if I couldn’t sleep the night before? Or the night before that? Or all of the nights leading up to the big day? I figured life wouldn’t be that cruel to make my wedding day one of those “bad days” or to make me get married as a zombified insomnia version of myself. Once again, I tried not to worry about it. I probably should have because – guess who had next to no sleep on the nights running up to her wedding? And guess who woke up on the morning of the biggest day of her life seven fucking shades of psychotic?
The last couple of years of my life have been far from easy. This is not a whingy why me post but an honest account of what led up to my complete meltdown. I’ve chosen to put myself out there on a platform to share my story in the hope of helping others. I’ve shared so many personal things between running this blog, writing for newspapers, giving talks and doing media interviews. I share many aspects of my life with mental health problems but there are huge gaps in my story. It has and always will be this way. I would love to share the entire story but I’m always mindful that I need to respect the privacy of other people in my life to an extent. Put it this way, if I ever told the full unfiltered story of my life, things like developing schizophrenia at such a young age and keeping it quiet for so long would make perfect sense. But what I can tell you is in the last 18 months, a lot of bad stuff happened. I’m not talking about the aftermath of my mother’s death or Schizophrenia. Other things that I won’t speak of but the whole ‘could be fighting a battle you know nothing about’ saying applies here.
So, a lot of bad shit happened, very quickly, one thing after another, no time to deal with it all and suddenly there was all the time to deal with it and think about it and remember it and obsess over it. Then I had a breakdown. I don’t mean a crying and taking to the bed for a couple of days breakdown. I mean a catastrophic, totally lost the head kind of one. It was the worst one I’ve ever had. There have been times in my life when I’ve been in a secure psychiatric ward and been in better states of mind than the way I’ve been the last few months. I needed to go to hospital, I should have but I didn’t, that was my biggest mistake. I’m in a documentary about Schizophrenia that’s on RTE2 at 10pm 19th of September 2017. There is a bit of my meltdown in it. Just a quick bit where you basically see the very start of it. My mental health was at breaking point and shortly after filming it broke completely. I’ll be forever thankful for two things (1) we filmed that bit before I got worse and (2) the production company that made the documentary sorted me out with a counsellor and are continuing to do so. I don’t think I would have come out the other side if they hadn’t done that for me.
Was I suicidal? Yes. In a major way. But I didn’t go through with it and that’s all that matters now. Am I still sick? Yes but I’m doing better. I can function better now and reasons to be alive and looking forward to the future have definitely become a thing in my life again so there’s that. I put a post on this blog’s Facebook explaining my absence from Pretty Sane (I was the complete opposite of what that name suggests at the time). People sent me really nice messages about how I’ve helped them and they were really supportive, if you are one of those people from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU. If you are someone who knows me in real life and tried to approach the subject with me before not knowing what to say and awkwardly shying away – I know you were trying and that you cared and that meant a lot to me.
If you had conversations with me where you said that I seemed fine so what was the problem well then you can fuck right off because you don’t live inside my head. Theres no room for you in there anyway. Between my great intellectual mind, harry potter trivia, the lyrics to Despacito on a loop and the psychotic voices we’ve pretty much reached maximum capacity up there.
This has been to date my most pointless blog post ever. If you’re new here please know that they don’t usually go this way and I usually write with the intention of actually helping other people but this one just for me to celebrate surviving Breakdown Number: 5819 (rough estimate) of my life.
On the bright side, I achieved many things during this epic meltdown I watched six seasons of Game of Thrones in a week and I wrote almost half of my book. My voices help with creativity and help give me ideas you see. That sentence may sound strange but it’s a positive thing I assure you. Could be worse. They could be like Ralph’s.
Poor Ralph </3
I’m well and truly on the mend now. Still a ways to go but I’m getting there. One day at a time.
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