The Invisible Enemy

Hey everyone. I hope you’re all well and in good mental health. Today I saw a picture on Twitter that I would like to share my thoughts on. Thank you to Leon for allowing me to use it.

Mental illness can be invisible and I am 100% behind this statement. I have anxiety when I go shopping about how many people will be there, as I’m not one for crowds. I will start to panic if I bump into people, and I feel that I’m being watched all the time, which puts me on edge. It’s not a great feeling.

This is why I go shopping with my partner. I feel safe with her and confident that we won’t be in the shop for longer then we need to be. If the shop is busy I have a coping technique: I start tapping my fingers together and it just make me feel good. I suppose it’s like a grounding technique, and it really does help me a lot. It makes me feel that’ve I have got over my anxiety, that I’m going to be fine and nothing terrible is going to happen.

When I’m in a low place – which can last days, weeks, or months, depending on what’s going on – I will withdraw from everything. I won’t look after myself, I won’t go out and I’ll really let myself go. It’s like I’m in a downward spiral, and it feels like I’m going to be down there for ages. On the plus side, I can still have a joke about myself and other things, so I can take something positive from a bad time. I can build on that and make myself grow, so I eventually come out of the downward cycle; now I have the right tools, I can get out of it quicker than before.

Throughout my childhood, I made several attempts to take my own life because, sadly, that was the only way I could see myself being of any help to anyone. When I was young, I was struggling and not getting the help I needed from mental health services. The police helped me when I was younger, but I felt I was a strain on them because I wasn’t committing any offence. I just needed help.

I didn’t work in my childhood and only got a job when I was about 16. I was still struggling with my mental health, but when I was working it took my mind off things. It was good because it distracted me, so that was a blessing.

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed me sharing some of my lived experience with you.

I wish you all good mental health.

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