***Trigger Warning*** Mental Health
Being here is enough. But as each day goes by I feel more anxious before going to sleep and then numb throughout the day. I lost my battle 3 years ago; I am grateful to still be here. Having recently undergone treatment for my brain and nervous system, I thought I had accepted it. But there’s still a part of me that lays there and wonders why me, how long will this last, what’s the point. I spent over a year recovering, healing, getting therapy and through a lot of trial and error found what worked for me, at the time. I find myself questioning my existence, again. A place that was painful, numbing and debilitating. I find myself becoming anxious again about hitting rock bottom and losing my mental health battle again.
When I first began experiencing symptoms, there was a lot of stigma and virtue signaling, blame and shame. I silenced my pain, I suppressed everything and made my symptoms worse. Over time I learned that no one was coming to save me, I had to do what was right for me. The journey was painful but necessary. As I continue with treatment for my brain, after three years it does not get easier. It's something I have learned to cope with. There are days where my energy increases and other days I am bed-ridden again. I went through what I would now call a phase where my symptoms were significantly reduced, that was short lived.
Be kind they say, I did nothing but that during 2020 when I was experiencing symptoms and eventually diagnosed. However, starting again made me feel like a bit of a failure. I felt like I had let everyone down by becoming sick. I was often blamed and shamed for having ‘something wrong’ with me. I know now it wasn’t my fault, it was going to happen. I also don’t see my illnesses as a holiday nor a time to be enjoying myself. Most of the time I am in pain. It’s pain that is hardly visible, it’s often hidden. I’ve tried to bring my hobbies home, I have a podcast where I share my journey as well as others. But it can feel overwhelming at times and not being able to measure the impact can make me feel hopeless. However, I have had to remind myself constantly that I have had to re-learn a lot. From walking in a straight line, not dropping on the floor randomly, it heals my brain and nervous system and so on. I cut a lot out of my life, I was also cut off but I now know it was for the best. I now focus on what I can control, here and what my future may look like. And it can all change, due to so many factors and it does not have to be a bad life. My ambition was a huge part of me, but sometimes it plays a part in welcoming the demons. Nothing is perfect, my brain and nervous system will tell you that.
Written by: Shehla Ali