Echoes of the Past

A snap from my holidays a few years ago to put you in the summery mood.

It’s sunday, I’m on holiday and there’s nothing that I have to do today, it’s quite a liberating feeling to know that there’s no pressure or anything, that I could do anything I wanted to.

Yesterday I did something that I’ve been meaning to do for ages, I phoned my best friend who I haven’t seen in three years, I last saw her before my breakdown so I think it’s fair to say that the idea of seeing her again and talking to her would freak me out a little and start to make me ache for the days when I was normal.

I’m also scared of her noticing that there’s something wrong with me. Now, in the past this is the thing that’s caused me the most problems- I had to do a play with an old friend of mine who I last spoke to before my breakdown. In my desperation to show him that I was normal (you can guess where this is going) I over-acted a little… okay, I over-acted a lot. The result was that he thought I was constantly high and had regressed to the mind of a small, hyper child.

Learning from that mistake I’ve tried to practise being normal. Being normal consists of breathing properly, having the facial expression of ‘relaxed- but interested’ and talking at a normal tempo.

It’s an art form.

Anyway, moving on from the obsessive recesses of my mind…

I’ve never been given a formal diagnosis. I know that I’m mentally ill, and I’ve been with CAMHS for over 18 months- but nothing’s been said about exactly what’s wrong with me. I would put my entire fortune (admittedly not much) on the fact that I have depression, but I also have delusions, paranoia and what I fondly describe as ‘noises’ in my head. Not voices, just a sort of low-level mumbling.

That’s why it’s going to be hard to look my best friend in the eye and pretend to be normal. Words are meaningless to me- I lie to everyone all the time, and I can’t bear to do that to her. I know that I won’t bring it up with her, but I’m going to promise myself that if she asks me I’m not going to lie.

Lying is something that I have always argued to be necessary in life. I have friends who believe that if you lie on anything you should be strung up by the ankles and attacked. They however, have normal lives, I don’t. I long ago realised that the lines that other people could never dream of crossing aren’t there for me. It’s hard to feel like other people when you know that you’ve done things that would repulse them. I’m sick of being the freak, but there’s nothing I can do. I have to learn to walk forward with tiny steps and deal with things slowly and carefully, I can get through this and I can do the things that other people do, but I will face more problems than them- it’s weird when you achieve something perfectly normal, but to you it’s huge, and you just sit there grinning to yourself and bursting with pride and other people stare at you because you’ve done something so small, so insignificant, but to you it’s huge, and you can never explain to them why it’s so big. That’s the problem with mental illness. You have to keep silent.

Listening to: Jenny in’t Fogge by Omnia. A lovely, gentle harp piece that always makes me smile. The sound of the harp with the birdsong and then the little chorus in the middle is so relaxing. *sigh*


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