8 weeks and counting. My hosp experience #mentalhealth

"Can you guarantee your safety?" If I've heard that question once over the past few months I've heard it a million times. I feel a little sad each time I hear it because the answer is no, actually I can't guarantee my safety and that's a difficult thing to admit. I'm the type of person who would never give my word to someone if I can't keep it, and unfortunately at the moment I don't feel like I can make such a promise. So that's the reason why I'm in hospital, and have been since mid August. 

The doctors and nurses keep asking what's wrong with me and why I am struggling so much at the moment. But even though I'm an articulate person (well I think I am) I can't explain or describe why I feel the way I feel. All I know is that I have had a dark cloud over me for the past few months, and it shows no sign of disappearing.
I've felt myself retreat into a place of darkness and anxiety which has left me feeling invisible. Forget Harry Potter and his invisibility cloak - if you want to experience real invisibility in life- try a bout of depression. 

We're always told to reach out and surround yourself with people who care about you. But the one thing no one tells you about depression is that it's a lonely place to be even if you reach out and are surrounded by lots of supportive people. You feel alone and stuck in your head no matter how many people are around and that can be a scary place to be.
The worst part of being in hospital is that everyone else is out living their life when I'm stuck in here and in a rut thinking the same horrible thoughts over and over.

I feel like I'm being left behind and everyone else is living their lives and have forgotten about me. With any other illness you can share your experiences with others but the stigma associated with having a mental illness often leaves people unable to confide in others or even accept themselves what they are going through. People talk about the stigma associated with mental illness and every day I urge people to stand up to fight mental health stigma. But the irony is not lost on me that the biggest obstacle I face is my own stigma and how I feel about myself for experiencing mental health difficulties.
Right now I am struggling. It feels like I'm never gonna get my life back. Even though I've been here before and my rational self knows that it's possible to recover. But my depressed mind feels like my old life has disappeared forever. That is not a nice place to be. But I'm fighting and that has to count for something.

For anyone going through a tough time at the minute please do reach out for help. Check out the website www.yourmentalhealth.ie for links to support services. 

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