How are you today?

You would be bored witless if I answered honestly each time you ask. Wellness is the easy answer that everyone wants to hear “Fine thanks how are you” the British pleasantries which are acceptable greetings and part of the reason stigma still exists because generally people don’t answer “feeling a little bit poorly today but thanks for asking”. Can you imagine if society was a place where we were all honest about out well being? But then that would mean we would all have to engage in discussion about that once any differential has been disclosed. I can almost hear you screaming aaaaargh as you read this.

Folk are interested in the periods of illness whether depressed because that is worrying and risky or whether elated and manic because that’s often exciting and in my case sometimes quite fun to be around (with a side order of exasperation!). Folk are interested in your wellness, in recovery, because they care about you but also because it proves recovery is real. It is joy sharing and hope giving.

Then there is the other bit. The bit where folk expect the “fine thanks how are you answer”. Recently my answer would have been “I’m alright, not sleeping well and in constant pain with side effects of meds in addition to feeling really crap about myself due to the weight I have gained on previous meds” but I still generally go with “fine thanks”

I feel like shit. Not mood wise my mood is fine so I guess answering “fine” is a half truth. This is “normal feeling like shit but still functioning every day” which is not covered by the DSM.

Most days I want to cry at the muscle pain but GP will only give a tiny dose of meds needed to relieve this, I swear it would be easier to get crack off them yet ironically they have benzo’s on repeat! Go figure!

I climb the stairs at work partly because I need the exercise given the hideous size of me at present and partly because I am embarrassed to use the lift because people don’t see my ‘injury’ I know there is a current rhetoric not to compare mental health to a broken leg but in this case a plaster cast would be easier.

My colleagues know I am struggling with sleep, they see my exhausted face at times. That’s good though because no sleep but not exhausted well that’s another issue entirely isn’t it? I’m tearful tired now yet ironically since my meds were adjusted again I have slept the past two nights.

The daily toil of living with mental illness us exhausting, but no one sees it. They see the ‘episodes’ but not the inbetweens, sometimes I need a hand on my shoulder and told it will all be ok even on the fully functional in between bits cos no one realising makes these bits the most difficult in fact.

*Moan over; as you were*

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