An Introduction

Welcome To A Jackals Voice. The intention of this blog is to be an outlet for myself and others on topics that are not generally discussed...

Monday, 4 December 2017

The things we don't see

Hello and welcome to A Jackals Voice.
I'm sorry I've been away so long, there were a few things that had to be done. Things like; testing my body's limits, going out on small adventures, nothing really of note, but essential nonetheless. During this time I've learned two things. The first is that I am able to have a life, and a good one to boot. The second is that I really must slow down, or risk burning myself out as I have done this past week. So, sitting at home, hiding away from the world, I thought I'd share with you exactly what I'm hiding, and why so many people with mental health conditions do so.

In my recent posts, I've been talking about getting back out into the world. Enjoying life and trying to live a, relatively speaking, 'normal' life. It's been going fairly well I'm happy to report, I've seen my friends a lot more than I have done over the last year. I'm walking better, I have a much cooler walking stick (walking sticks are cool, and I don't care who thinks otherwise) and I've recently started Physiotherapy. Things have been looking up, ben, for every high there is a low, and now I've been stuck at home for almost three days due to pain and exhaustion. This is nothing new, and I tell my friends and family I'm just having a few 'rest' days. In truth, it's not restful at all.

I can't speak for everyone, but 'rest' days are not a new part of my, mental condition. Granted, they are now longer breaks than I used to take when my anxiety flared, but in essence, they are the same thing. These are the days when it's just got too much. These are the days when the symptoms get worse and easy to spot, and so, like many, I hide away.
When the term invisible illness is used it refers to the mental conditions we can't obviously see. However, in my experience, there is another reason that these conditions or illnesses are invisible. It's because we make them invisible. On my bad days, I feel like every muscle in my body is fighting against one another. I flinch at even the slightest noise, and my vocalisations are worse than normal. I can't even make myself a cup of tea without informing my neighbours that; 'I NEED MILK!!!'. I ache, and all I want to do is go to bed, but I can't sleep. I worry about stupid things, things that really don't matter. I can't help myself, and so I hide.
My invisible illness is not just because it's in my head, it's because I don't want people to see these bad days, the ones I call 'rest days'.

Now to be clear, I'm not writing this for sympathy. I've too much pride to ask for that. I suppose that means I've got a bit of an ego, but then I think everyone does. I don't want people to see this because I feel weak on these days, and I'm grumpy due to the pain. I am writing this to try and explain why most people don't see others having massive panic attacks. Why people don't see others struggling up the street because their legs are too weak to carry them. Particularly, why you don't see me gasping for breath because I can't stop shouting random words and phrases.
For many people with Mental illnesses, hiding the worst of it is second nature. I suppose it doesn't really help our cause. Back when I only had anxiety to worry about, I often heard; 'I'd never have guessed that', after telling someone about my condition. The reason people never guessed, simple. they never saw, and I know I am not the only one.
To be clear, I'm not calling for change here. I know I'm not going to start forcing myself outside on bad days just so the world can see that I am genuinely ill. I shouldn't have to, and neither should anyone else. All I'm really trying to say is that the next time your friend says; 'I'm a bit tired,, maybe tomorrow', just consider that maybe they need a break.

It's not all doom and gloom though. My good days are starting to get even better, and I certainly feel like I'm improving. I'm always going to have bad days but that's okay. I know that it gets better, and I know that I'll learn to cope better. I'm a work in progress, but everybody needs a break now and then.

Over to you now. Do you have 'rest days' like me? Perhaps you know someone else that struggles. Leave a comment and please remember to share this with your friends on facebook.
Thankyou to everyone that's been reading my Blog and sharing it. I hope that it's helped in some small way for others like me.
Until next time, this has been,
A Jackals Voice.

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