The Momentums of a Mental Illness

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Good day… Good day… Good day…Bad day. 

Struggling with a mental illness can often become a life of momentum. When we have good days, we have good days, and then maybe a couple more, just like in sports.  You have a good shift, you have five or six, you win a few games, you win five or six. But, then the slightest thing can go wrong, and you over-analyze it so much, and let it consume you so much that your winning streak, or good day streak is snapped and into a slump you go.  Bad day. Loss.  And when you have one bad day, you’re instantly fearful that 5 more are coming. And as soon as that’s in your head. You’re fucked. Bad day. Bad day. Bad day. Bad day. Loss. Loss... etc.  Sometimes it’s all about momentum, and riding the highs, and trying your darnedest to escape the lows. 

After a few good days in a row, you begin to take them for granted and then like I said, a few minor things can happen, and it throws you right off your pedestal, and back to the bottom you go. Trying to work your way up.  The hardest thing for people alike that struggle with mental illness is A) Turning those bad days into good days & B) Being strong enough to have as many good days as you can, and not going back to bad.  Those are the hardest things to do.  B is nearly impossible it seems like.  You can try and get part of it done, but meanwhile, while trying to make such a conscious effort to have good days.  You feel like you’re doomed to lose.  You really are.  And that’s the mentality of people that struggle with this disease, and other associated mental health disorders.  And again, for someone reading this, who doesn’t understand you’re probably saying, oh that sounds so easy.  Well, no.  That’s exactly it. You don’t understand. Our brains don’t work the same.  We can’t just turn a switch on and say, OK, Time to do whatever and make this a good day. That’s part of the problem.  We can’t be like you and do that as hard as we try. Can’t. Or at least feel good about it in the process.

Bad days you feel empty, weak, powerless, you just feel like nothing.  And for us to snap out of it and get a sudden burst of energy and a litre of smiles and laughs. It doesn’t happen.  Unfortunately.

The other challenging part of falling back into a losing streak, if you will.  Is it is so easy to focus on that losing streak, and fear for it to continue that you forget what things were like when you were doing well, you forget how you got there.  This, right now is my attempt not to fall into this pit again.  When you fight depression, you can feel things coming, you can sometimes feel the “verge” sometimes you can feel yourself falling backwards, but it’s about trying to pick yourself back up in time, and that’s where other people may be able to do that just fine and normally, we can’t.  No matter how hard you try.  And, this is me trying right now by distracting myself, trying to talk about it, trying to remind myself why I had so many good days in a row to begin with, much of it contributed to this blog and the support i’ve recieved

Life with mental illness is honestly a marathon of momentum sometimes. You’re up. You’re down. You’re up, up, down, down.  It’s challenging for us.  It is challenging for those that deal with us every day too.  Whether thats friends, parents, co-workers, significant others… etc.  It’s not easy to be around us sometimes, at least I know for me, I can be a real challenge to be around, and I give everyone credit.  One of my favorite Matthew Good lyrics is “I’m affable, responsible, but hard to be around, It’s correctable, and they’re right you know, It’s as easy as it sounds” – A Single Explosion

And it’s true.  It is. 

We want to be treated the same as everyone else, we really do.  But, at the same time, we aren’t like everyone else.  It’s complicated.  When its a “good day” things are good, we seem to be unstoppable, at the peak of things.  But, when its a “bad day” whoa, is it bad.  Someone could say, or do the same thing to me on a good day, as a bad day and I probably won’t even notice.  But, on a bad day. I’ll think about it all day, over-analyze it and let it drag me down. Whether its saying something, or an action, or just something happened.  It doesn’t matter.   Something as simple as someone cutting you off on the highway.  On a good day, you brush it off.  On a bad day. It eats away at you all day, and you somehow over-analyze it so bad that it’s eventually you’re own fault that it happened. 

So as much as we want to be treated the same, and deserve to be treated the same.  We aren’t the same. That’s where the challenging part of being around us comes.  We are entirely different than those who don’t struggle with mental health.  That’s why education, and knowledge becomes so crucial for everyone whether you understand this war or you don’t.  If you know someone that struggles with depression, bi-polar, ptsd or anything of the like.  Even if you “think” you understand it.  If you haven’t lived it. You don’t.  Take it upon yourself to learn more, read books, talk to people…etc.  Because, sometimes its the people that don’t “understand” but do, that make the difference.  If that made any sense at all.  I really recommend talking to people if you know of anyone that is/had gone through this.  Books can be great and all, and you’ll learn something more, but it’s never quite as intaking as actually conversing with someone who has been there.  You could read 1000 books, but you’ll learn more by talking to 1 person.  But, the efforts will go a long way. In both our lives. 

I think this also goes back to the importance of people speaking up about their fight with this illness.  We can’t expect our counterparts to be knowledgeable and understanding, if we can’t find it in ourselves to tell them what we live with.  We can’t expect them to just know.  Because, people that struggle with depression have about 200 masks and do a tremendous job of hiding their struggles.  But, we need to take those masks off, and allow others the opportunity to become educated, and to understand so that they can help us get back to having good days.  And let them help.  Cause’ they will if we let them. 

But, sometimes, that’s one of the hardest parts, and that’s what we need to work together on making easier.  Letting others know, letting others learn, and letting others help

 

That’s my piece for this Sunday. 

I’ve never wrote at this time. Usually its a 9pm weekday thing. But, today changed it up. I hope this still can be an enjoyable read and will stir up some thought and emotion for you all!

Enjoy. 

Again, I also wanted to thank everyone who has been reading, and those that have been contacting me, it has truly been a blessing to be able to talk to some of you. I am truly honored. 

 

Love

– Blair Courchene

 

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