My walk home has been punctuated, every step, by the words ‘practical’ and ‘rational’. While staring at the floor to avoid seeing dead people.
Long time, regular readers will probably remember that earlier this year I was admitted to therapy for PTSD, stress, depression and anxiety. For quite a while, I’ve been fine, but recently I caught a killer of a cold to go along with my gall stones. I imagine that combination has not helped as today I’ve been sent home from work. You see, I couldn’t look at anybody because they were rotting. Not helpful in retail.
The problem is that I know it’s not real, I know that there aren’t rotting corpses wandering round, because it’s not practical, and I have to be rational about it. See, practical, rational, my mantra for today, but it wasn’t helping. I know that what I was seeing was a lie, it wasn’t real. I have seen the dead in various stages before, that’s not the issue, it’s when the dead start asking you for particular items of stock, that’s when it becomes a problem. So I was sent home, where I’ve locked myself in the house and am dosing myself to the gills with cold and flu medicine and trying to take deep breaths and calm down.
The problem with mental health is that it’s invisible, all people see are the twitches, the scratching and the occasional bouts of tears. The other problem with mental health issues is how common they are, yet a lot of people simply don’t know about them. 1 in 4 people, that’s 25%, a quarter of the British population suffers from some form of mental health problem, be it stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD or some other thing that is totally invisible, yet can destroy a day, a week, a month or the lifetime of someone. My manager had to walk me out of the shop, round the back, trying to block my view of everyone while I stared at the floor. Which was fine until someone with a pram appeared. Rotting baby, gurgling away, playing with some kind of pram toy is something I could happily have lived the rest of my life without seeing.
I’m sat here, at home with every shade drawn, every door and window locked, hiding under a duvet, half trying to sleep, half hiding from the world, wondering why the way my cats are sitting is making me want to cry, but also laugh hysterically.
It could be that in a few hours I don’t feel sick, I don’t want to laugh and cry or throw things just to hear them smash to remind myself the world still works normally. It might not happen until tomorrow, I don’t know.
Please, if you know someone has mental health issues, keep it light, remember that what they’re seeing or feeling could be totally different to what you see. We need help, we need more awareness, we need funding for more research.
Please, help your local mental health charity, or just help those around you.
PS. My cats are talking to me. Apparently they don’t like my carpet.
Tough. It’s my carpet. Eat your Dreamies.
PPS. I’ll be fine, thank you!