I am sat in a random little coffee shop in Clapham Common. I can’t bring myself to stand up. Mainly because of the severe pain in my back but also the mental block in my head. About six months ago I was driving on the motorway and a harrowing thought crossed my mind of ‘what would happen if I just pulled out in front of a car? What would be the repercussions? How would life be if I wasn’t in it?’.
There are some dark moments. Everyone has them. Anxiety is a crippling disease. Most of my closest friends have a therapist. This is the world in which we live now. The choices we make dictate the lifestyles we lead. For the past two years, I have been in pain. Initially it was mental and, as I was continuously told by doctors, “all down to stress”. I was told to change my routine, stop drinking, exercise more, quit smoking, get more sleep, find ways to relieve stress. I have done all of it… and more.
I have seen 35 doctors in five months. I have now see three chiropractors, seven physios, two neuro-physios, two haematologists, two councillors, two personal trainers, two cosmetic surgery consultants. I have spent thousands of pounds on treatment that has not worked.
I quit my job. I found new work which allows me to work from my house, a coffee shop, a remote office, my bed (…on the darkest of days). It has been two months and 27 days since I last smoked. I have had 2 bottles of wine and four beers in three months. I was prescribed with Amitriptyline – an anti-depressant to cure my severe nerve pain – where even the lowest dose made me have the same graphic nightmare. A haunting dream where I woke up sat upright, crying my eyes out. My sleep has never been the same again.
I have surrounded myself with like-minded people who understand what I am currently going through. But I feel guilty for their patience. I feel responsible for them wasting their time.
I run a make-up free life knowing that it will never stay in tact.
I went for a run in Tooting Common the other day and I cried for 5km. I cried along Clapham High Street and I am crying now as I write this. The man on the table next to me looks like he may make a run for it pretty soon.
For two years I have not felt normal. “They” have diagnosed me with Functional Motor Disorder (but “they” don’t know what that is exactly) and have offered no support of treatment. I wake up every day and for a brief second I feel like me again. I am numb for a few minutes where my brain and body are not in tune and I feel like I have progressed, even just slightly. And then it disappears.
It has now got to the point that I have run out of options. Every day is a barrier – whether it is physical or emotional. I have the best support system in the world but it is impossible to explain how I feel and why I feel it and why I don’t want to be present in a room with people. I find it impossible to help myself.
It has taken me weeks to write this. And hours to even consider publishing this.
Never has it been more prominent for mental health to take centre stage. So here I am, standing in the spotlight, asking for help.