I have written a few posts about my journey with grief, which is of course on-going as grief is not linear and it is something I will carry for the rest of my life. I have also been diagnosed with psychotic depression. It’s a severe illness, but one that people can choose not to see. This is why I write openly about my mental health. It is very real and it is very frightening (for me and my husband who witnesses the ‘bad’ episodes).
I have major depression with psychotic symptoms. I am not hallucinating or hearing voices, which is one form of psychosis. What I am experiencing is an extreme sense of worthlessness due to the guilt I feel for letting Ned go on the day he died. I feel like I failed my little boy and I am so terrified of failing my other two sons too. I have continuing suicidal thoughts which I battle against on an almost daily basis. I feel torn between Ned and my two other boys. It is a living nightmare, but one I want those who know me to understand a little better.
People ask me how I am and I have absolutely no idea what to say, so I simply say I’m ok. What else can I say? But for those who read my blog posts, I know that they understand me a little better and that feels so important to me.
There are certain triggers to my psychosis which cause me to have severe panic attacks – I struggle to breathe, I usually drop to the ground, my heart races, I sweat. I have an overwhelming need to go to Ned when this happens and if I’m home, I can run to his graveside. I sit until the panic subsides. If I’m not at home, I have to work hard to get out of the attack, usually aided by one of my friends.
I feel overwhelming sadness which is why I have become socially isolated with less than a handful of friends who have remained close. I don’t like leaving the safety of my home. I am constantly anxious and find it difficult to sit still. I am so very tired that I often fall asleep in the afternoon and still go to bed by nine at night. Most days the simplest of tasks can feel like huge mountains to climb.
Along with this, I am grieving for my little boy. Life is incredibly difficult but I am trying; I am trying so hard. This is why I’ve written this post. There are people everywhere who are living their own nightmares, suffering and battling their own mental illnesses. It needs to be spoken about openly because it needs to be understood.
If one person reads this and thinks, ok, I understand her behaviour a little better now; or if someone reads this and identifies with what I say, then I feel proud that my words have had that tiniest effect.
My blog is called ‘Sharon Marie Jones – Just Being Me’ – and that is what I’m doing.