Are Things Getting Better?

One thing that really helped about hospital, was having my family know about it.  My parents have always tried to understand, and been supportive with everything that’s gone on. My closest-in-age auntie and the older of my sisters knew. But the rest of my family hadn’t known how bad things can be for me.  They knew the outline, they knew I “used to” self-harm, that I was sometimes depressed, sometimes a bit too bubbly.  But they didn’t know about the diagnosis, or the seriousness of it all.  My family are close- we support each other, we see each other a lot, and feeling like I was living a half-truth was painful and made me feel guilty.  The positives: the degree, the helpfulness at home, the writing, seemed to be lies of omission, for as long as I carried around the knowledge that things aren’t always so bright.  Worse, they made my “bad patches” look like ingratitude or disturbing perfectionism.  So when I went into hospital I asked my parents to be honest about it.  When I was hospitalised as a teenager, we kept it pretty much under wraps.  The secrecy only led to shame, and the feeling, like tiny pinches, that I was a liar.  Of course that’s ridiculous- to be private about something personal isn’t a lie.  But the trouble is, it isn’t always “personal”.  My moods have impact.  Whether they knew what was going on or not, it isn’t possible that no-one had noticed the swings. (Actually, it’s all a bit like “coming out” really). To be fair, the year at home was mostly level or “up”, so I “got away with it.”  And that’s the thing isn’t it, feeling OK or not OK or anything, shouldn’t be something to be got away with.  When other people share their problems with me, I’m able to be supportive.  When I’m not able to share back, because I fear I’ll share too much, that’s upsetting.  Now, I might not always want to share.  I keep things close to my chest when I can.  But I could ask, if I wanted to.  It’s important.

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