The Last Breakfast

I’m so excited today and that doesn’t happen often, especially on a Sunday with Monday being so close. I’m on the way to meet a friend’s baby with mini teddy in tow to make him smile.

Going out on a Sunday is extremely hard for me. I often feel sick, anxious, sad and agitated. I’m continually watching the clock knowing the day will soon be over. Every moment I spend has to be accounted for. Am I being productive? And am I making the most of this day? I would put this more in my ‘depression box’ if I had to categorise it. Every second that passes is a second closer to my death or worse, the death of someone I love. Have I told them today that I love them? Have I seen their smile? Have I spent quality time with them?

Imagine living every day as if it’s your last. Sure it means I have some great relationships because I’m often investing time in them and of course it means I’m very productive, trying to do everything before it’s too late. But imagine living every day like that and every day it’s real to you, it really is the last. Every time I hug or kiss someone I love, a part of my head tells me that it will be your last kiss, your last hug, your last smile. My mum and I actually have a ‘kiss ritual’ – left, right, middle. If I don’t say good bye in this way then for me I have unfinished business until we meet again, and that sits in a little corner in the back of my brain. I carry it everywhere I go.

Imagine you go for breakfast and it’s not ‘quite right’ if it was your last breakfast how would you feel? If you don’t get your favourite table how would you feel? For me everything I do is always the last so I’m having my last breakfast and I’m not having it in my usual seat ‘for old times sake’ it’s pretty scary.

Well today I feel pretty good. I’m a little anxious but I’m going to meet best friends and my husband is coming with me. Often if my husband is with me my anxiety is instantly halved because I’m not worried about not seeing him before he dies or before I die. It does make going to work and any separation incredibly hard, but each day I battle through some how. There are days when it’s too much and so I don’t make it out or to work but allowing myself those days without beating myself up is the best I can do.

The whole time I’m typing this I’m picking at my ear, I’ll put this in my ‘dermatillomania box’. Sadly the wound on my ear has been there for more than a year now because I can never seem to let it heal! The more restless or anxious I am the worse it is. And I’ve been pretty bad with it recently.

With all this in mind I’ve decided today is going to be a good day. Am I still anxious and a little sad? Yes of course but I’m also so excited and happy to be strong enough to meet friends and travel to them (something else I struggle with). I’m happy that I’m strong enough today to show them how much they mean to me and how much I love them. I also get breakfast in a new place which is always fun for me and quite liberating.

Fingers crossed today stays a happy one and who knows maybe it’s the start of a new era!

‘Mad’ as always


The Birth of Openness

This week has been pretty hellish for me, I suppose that’s what finally pushed me to start Diary of a ‘Mad’ girl. Over the past year I have learnt to become more and more open about my mental health, something that I have found to be particularly helpful when it comes to coping with any anxieties or depressive moments I may have. Being open about who you truly are and how you really feel can be completely liberating and quite inspiring. Strangely, I can often find more courage when opening up to strangers. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have a ‘reputation’ to uphold or a ‘character’ to protect. What you see is what you get. If a stranger knows my darkest secrets I won’t have to see their eyes everyday looking at me and knowing my struggle. Of course family I see everyday so that’s a different story.

I’ve really come a long way in the past year, just being me. sadly this week I found myself being put back into my box, knocked back a century or two and silenced with gaffa tape. My ability to be open to the world was completely stripped from me and so too was one of my biggest coping mechanisms – openess. What do you do when your told you’re not allowed to discuss your mental health? And with no reason given for the need to be silent on the topic other than ‘not everyone is ready to hear about mental health’. Well excuse me whilst I ask all those with visible disabilities to cover themselves with blankets because people just aren’t ready to hear about disabilities. What outrage would ensue? So why then is mental health still treated so differently to physical health. My brain has an actual physical condition, a chemical imbalance and yet I must act as though this disability does not exist.

If I had a heart condition would you ask me to run up 5 flights of stairs to deliver a letter? Would you expect me to disclose my health difficulty to you so that I could take the lift instead? Or would you prefer I keep quiet and die of a heart attack? If the reasonable adjustments you make for someone with a physical disability allow them to function better, then what reasonable adjustments can you make for me when I’m suffering from a chronic illness that I’m unable to discuss?

With so much change going on in the world, both for the better and worse, I refuse to remain silent on the issue of mental health. If we campaign for cancer why is mental health any different? I will be regularly sharing my experiences with mental health, positive, negative, the wins and my struggles. I hope that Diary of a ‘Mad’ Girl will help others that face mental health difficulties, friends and family and those that have no idea what it’s all about but are willing to learn more and spread the message.

I look forward to taking this journey of openness with you and will forever be grateful for the time you spend reading and sharing Diary of a ‘Mad’ Girl.

Thank you