If.

I am currently staying on a hospital ward, I’m by myself so my internet friends are the ones to keep me company most of the time…

If I had pneumonia I could curse my lungs in the comments of my latest status update.

If I had norovirus my friends would accept that it could get worse before it gets better.

If I had a broken leg most people would feel comfortable about asking how I am doing.

If I had cancer it would be despicable to say that it is my own fault that I am ill with the disease.

I have none of these illnesses. But I am in hospital with an illness which makes me the odd one out on the ward. And so begins the most difficult and agonising blog post I have ever had to write…

I have a chronic and acute condition. It is there all the time. It dabbles around inside me and latches onto anything and everything. It makes me do things I don’t want to do. It keeps me up at night. It makes me painfully bony and my skin coarse. It makes it hard for me to do anything, because it hurts so much sometimes.

What is it?

No nasties are attacking my nervous system and no cells are concocting chaos. It is a disorder which is invisible to the naked eye, but shows up like wild fire on a brain scan.

I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Depression.

Why does no one ever mention that like a physical illness a mental illness can kill you if you don’t get the treatment you need? OCD has had several cracks at trying to win the tug of war for my life. But there is no way I will let it win.

So I am in hospital. I got rushed here in an ambulance. Not that dissimilar from a severe asthma sufferer my illness had stopped me breathing. On arrival I was assessed and told that I am too ill to return home. Just like the man in front of me in the queue who had just had a stroke. A normal heartbeat for someone my age is around 100bpm but mine spikes around 170 due to the anxiety which is coursing through my capillaries. My muscles ache from being forced to repeat the same actions again and again. My skin is full of potholes, where the wheels of the condition have dug in too deep for me to bare. My body is a puppet and my life feels like it has disappeared. Below all of the layers of this condition’s destructive attempt at self soothing is the girl who is left to write this post. Scared, Ill and battered.

I am in a paediatric ward at the moment; waiting to be transferred to an inpatient psychiatric unit especially for young people. I am lucky enough to be in receipt of an NHS funded place at a private hospital. I will stay there until I can move to a different unit closer to my own psychiatrist. I don’t know whether I will be able to blog while I am in there, and I don’t know how long exactly I will be there for. But when I come out of the other side I hope to feel a lot better!

If it is so hard, why am I telling you? Well I want to live in a world where people can go into hospital to regain mental health, just like they can physical health. I want people to see these conditions as a real threat to not just people’s happiness, but to their lives. Mental Illness is not something that just happens to the weak. It is by no means a choice. It is also not something that a positive mind alone can solve. My experience with mental illness is that it explodes, smoking in the most distant parts of your mind and rapidly growing outwards. But it can also lurk under a person’s skin for a lifetime. In my opinion, as far as bullies go, mental illness is the biggest coward of them all.

If you are judging me by making assumptions because you cannot see my condition just think: my eyes mean I don’t always notice when people are using walking sticks. But just because I can’t see the stick does it mean that the person can walk fine?

 

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8 thoughts on “If.

  1. Imi, you are the strongest person I know and being able to say you need help just proves it. It took me longer than it should have to admit when I couldn’t cope any more and I hope it will be quicker for you to get to the other side.

    You are so full of spirit that I know you will win this fight. You are loved and cared about. Mental illnesses need to be shouted about until people get the message. It is wore than the physical because it’s so much harder to see, but the scars are so deep sometimes.
    You can do this. I’ll be there if you need me.

  2. You are incredible imi. OCD is a horrendous illness, I have it myself. I hope you are “well” again soon, you can always talk to me via twitter. Stay strong xx

  3. Hi. I discovered your blog through twitter. Keep on trucking. You will hopefully get through this. Know one can rush it though. It’ll happen in its own time. Take care of yourself. xx

  4. If loving wishes were medicine you’d be better by now. X x
    We are all rooting for you to get through this and hope this will be the help that you need to make a recovery. Sounds like you are in the right place for you, just getting the head to know that isnt it???
    Sending you massive hugs and kisses.
    Gill and Andy. X x x

  5. I’m so sorry I didn’t spot this post sooner. I hope you know that there are many people like me who are rooting for you right now.
    We can beat this OCD monster. Take care,

    Rose xx

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