Tuesday, 19 May 2009

What it is like to go a bit mental by Elizabeth Green aged XXand a half.

I am writing this because I want my work place to truly know what is going on with me and why I have hardly been able to set foot in the place this past few months.
I think it is important that they read this because I know that in the back of my mind, they are not completely aware of what “going a bit mental” means.

I know many mentally ill people despise the term “going a bit mental” but I like it because it appeals to my sense of irony and is, essentially true.
What work doesn’t realise about me is that I have a history of “going a bit mental.”
I went a bit mental on a regular basis as a kid and many a child psychologist failed to diagnose me with a nice, neat pigeon holed condition.
They eventually settled upon Synaesthesia and given how my brain works, I have always agreed that they got it right. However, I have never wanted to talk about it until now.
What happens with me (because, I am almost 100% certain this is because of my Synaesthesia) is that sometimes I reach sensory overload when I have had too much trauma. Given that so many people and most of my family that I love have died under tragic circumstances in the past two years, I was building up for an overload of sensation and emotion.
I had to sit out two deaths, day and night and pick up a broken boyfriend.
I lost two dear friends to cancer and another to suicide. I had to talk a friend down from suicide and saved him...but was unable to save myself.

Oh, and these are the things I can’t tell you about. A lot of dark, dark stuff happened in my child hood which are only just emerging into my conciousness now.
Plus I have this Synaesthesia. It is a real condition and not a fabricated excuse.
Synaesthestes feel everything more accutely because of their mixed up wiring. Sometimes even a sound or a smell can send me into paroxysms of joy...or fear.

Since I had my break down, I have not been able to leave the house for days on end at times,because everything is too noisy and bright and confusing.
I am NOT on drugs...this is just the way my mind works.

I have managed to keep it hidden and under control for years now. My condition manifests itself through song writing and the way, perhaps I talk to the children at school but it has otherwise been kept in check.

Until now.
Now, you find me as I type this having just been sick (again), shaking like a leaf and with muscles made of titanium. The worst thing is the muscle stiffness...it hurts like Hell.
I need to go to yoga and get outside for some exercise as I know that helps, but right now, outside is too bright and noisy and downright terrifying.
I need to get back to work.
I miss the kids...but a school is just about as hectic an environment you can get.
So I need to be truly ready before I return.

All of this makes me so, so miserable.
I just want to be normal again (for a given value of normal) and get on with life, see people, do my job well...

As I type this, the very thought of even having to talk to another person is sending my anxiety through the roof. Even my doctor has to speak to me over the phone rather than me going to the surgery!
I know the things that I have to do to get well again involve eating food, talking to people and leaving the house.
When I am ready to face the world again, I pick myself up and do these things.
But when I get home, the stress it has caused leads me straight to the bathroom for a good old session of projectile vomiting.

I want you to know just how bad and awful I feel for much of the day.
I also want you to know that I have no real idea why I suddenly got so sick when others, who have been through similar traumas never do.
I ask myself “Why me?!” every single day.

I don’t have a concrete answer.
But I wish someone could come along and prescribe a cure.
It seems that the mind is the most difficult organ to heal.

And I am desperate for the powers that be at work to realise just HOW sick I really am but just HOW desperate I am to return to a job I love.

Monday, 18 May 2009

What would Liz do?

I was asked, long ago by a kind and wise failure of a lady.
“What would Liz do?”
I was asked this because I did not know what to do.
The world left me dazzled by its turning and my (supposed) place in it.
But I did not really know my place and had never yet found anything that I wanted to do.

She looked at me, quizzically, owl-esque and perhaps slightly angrily.
“You don’t know what to do?”

I replied:
“Well, yes, I want to find the person that loves me to the point that his joints ache from reaching out to touch me.
I want us to tread the freshly washed sand from a new tide in a new place. I want us to gaze at the blue skies and our own eyes simultaneously. I want us to run, so very fast because we can... and because it brings delight to our souls. And I want to be able to put down in words and music just how wonderful this all is, so that others have footprints to follow.
That is what I want.”

She looked at me and said, “So you are not asking for much are you?”
And then she added:
“I don’t know a recruitment agency for that, but have you thought about a career in advertising?”

I never pursued her advice because I could never advocate the selling of false dreams...