The Gift

The mental health charity Rethink, are asking if mental health illnesses are ever a gift on their twitter feed and on their facebook page.

I am diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. This is in no way a gift.

Let me try and explain a little of why.

I can’t keep my eyes open.

Well, I can, I must be right? I’m typing this, but my eyes are drooping and it’s not even six pm yet. The reason if that I was awake most of the night, suffering from insomnia, so I’m tired now, ready for bed. Except I know need to stay away, and I know that even if I went to bed now, I wouldn’t sleep anyway. Cause the insomnia is awful, to the point that I couldn’t bare another few days of this, so I went to the doctor today to ask (beg) for sleeping tablets. Temazepam, in fact, as I’m slowly working my way through sleeping tablets as they stop working after a while. Already I’m building up a tolerance to the tamazepam, I don’t think they’ll be working by the end of this year.

Because I’m not sleeping properly, I’m struggling to get up and out of bed. Which means two things. I don’t take my medication at the right time, so I start shaking, and I spend a lot of time in bed panicking about getting out of bed. Suddenly it becomes the hardest thing in the world.

And I’m still shaking a bit.

My mood is slowly going downhill, and I miss cutting more and more as the days pass by. It’s a jealously thing too. My friends are cutting, I can’t help a little jealousy when sometimes it’s a harder to fight the desire than usual. Not that I blame my friends, and cutting wouldn’t help the insomnia, or the mood, really, but it’s still a default setting for me. Things are bad? Cut. Perhaps one day, it won’t even occur to me to cut, but right now, it’s still a work in progress.

My flat is a mess. This is the norm. I can’t keep on top of my own life really. Can’t look after myself. Which then, makes me feel bad, because I’m 29, I should be able to look after myself, feed, clean and clothe myself, keep a nice-ish home and so on. But I can’t. Various reasons. Mostly I’m just amazed I can get to the sofa without an assault course of rubbish in the way. I’m not proud of this, it’s a damn embarrassment, but I figure the trade of for not cutting/overdosing/being suicidal might be worth it.

Might be.

I’m single, childless and have a hamster as a pet. All of those things I pretty much track down to my mental health. I can’t look after myself, let alone a dog or another pet bigger than a couple of hamsters. Even the hamsters suffer sometimes I think. Everyone in my orbit suffers in one way or another.

I’m single for various reasons, but mostly out of choice, I don’t even try to have anything other than a friendship, because I don’t think I could handle having another person in my life that much, and I don’t think I should inflict myself on another person. My friends and family suffer enough, why bring another person into the orbit of Rhi’s doom (must think of a better name than the orbit of Rhi’s doom).

And that’s partly the reality of the situation, my life, and partly my self esteem problem, which is linked to my mental health.

Thank you, thank you so much for this gift that hurts me and everyone around me.

And all of this, is during what I can only describe as the best my life has been since I left home at 18. It’s been so, so much worse.

And this gift? This terrible, terrible gift has done so much worse and I still start to well up whenever I think about my friend Kirsty who killed herself just over a year ago.

This, of course, is all the bad things, what is the good? Can I attribute my poetry and writing, my drawings and weird watercolours to my mental health problems. Yes, no, maybe? Who knows, but if I had to give it up, and become a normal boring person, with a tidier house and a girlfriend/boyfriend, a kid and a dog, and Saturday nights in the pub, and watching soaps during the week, I think, I think I would.

Because I’d rather be with a loved one in a pub, than crying on my sofa, writing a rant about the gift that is my depression, anxiety and inability to be a useful member of society.

Of course, what I will say is this: If you think it’s a gift, relish it, use it, because you’re possibly better off than me.

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