The Introduction of ‘A’

Have you taken time out of your day today to breathe?

I won’t bore you with figures but I am one of the 450 million people estimated to suffer from ill mental health worldwide.

Yes, you read that right. Why is it that so many people suffer with ill mental health and yet the subject still feels so taboo?

I can’t talk for you but for me it isn’t a part of me I discuss. It isn’t a part of me that is on display for all to see or a part of me that people meet. What it is, is a part of my insides; inside my head, inside my heart, running through my body.

I call it the unwanted hitch hiker, it’s a part of me I don’t choose to have or want. The part of me I detest and the part of me that is shameful and disgusting. How could I possibly tell people about this unwanted hitch hiker without their judgement? Without feeling like I want to turn my body inside out and remove everything because I am diseased?

Riddled. Unwanted. Judged. Broken.

You see my hitch hiker is medically referred to as ‘Anxiety’ (with a side order of ‘Depression’). Ok if you want medical talk, its officially called Mixed Anxiety & Depression Disorder. For me though I welcome the depression side, after a particularly hard few days fighting with the anxiety it’s nice to feel exhausted and the crying provides a welcome relief sometimes, not always. (Imagine trying to explain that to someone who doesn’t suffer with ill mental health? The look would be an epic Kodak moment!)

As I have previously mentioned my hitch hiker is a part of me without my permission. It has taken me a long time to accept this squatter; I issued a plethora of eviction notices, I tried to poison it, starve it, drown it out but with no success did it leave. So just like when you buy a pet, plant, car or cuddly toy, you name it. It isn’t known as you, it has its own identity.

So ladies and gentlemen, without further delay, I’d like to introduce you to ‘A’, the unwanted hitch hiker. Don’t get too close though;

  • ‘A’ is not friendly
  • ‘A’ spares you no remorse
  • ‘A’ will want constant attention
  • ‘A’ never gives up
  • ‘A’ requires acknowledgment
  • ‘A’ is a stubborn bitch
  • ‘A’ is the dog shit you step, slide and fall in which smears all up your backside.

I have chosen to fight my battle without medication. I have tried every type of medication on the market over the last 15 years and some have helped me greatly. I am not against anyone living life on long term medication if it’s right for that individual. I personally have spent the majority of my life controlled by prescription drugs and I just want to be free. (‘A’ is loving this, quite often mocks me for being such an idiot.)

If you find yourself lost, alone and listening to your own hitch hikers spite, please remember;

  • You can beat this
  • You can do this
  • You deserve to be happy
  • You are worthy of love and kindness
  • You didn’t look at your boss funny six months ago and now he hates you
  • You don’t need to worry about the future
  • You didn’t say something wrong to your bf/gf and they are now going to leave
  • You won’t die from sore throat because Google says you will
  • You won’t end up alone with 27 cats or dogs (unless you want to).

Just breathe. Everything will be ok.

In company of ‘A’ will be a page filled with my life experiences with my unwanted hitch hiker. Some may be written by me, others by ‘A’. Either way they are a look into my life whilst I fight and win my wars with my mental health.

Defeat isn’t an option. Find strength in numbers.

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