Monday, October 28, 2013

this side of the blue.

Collection of thoughts:
-Yesterday I slept over at my Grandma's house and we made a detailed family tree together (a very OT inspired way to get her talking about her life). I found out that my great uncle (her brother) committed suicide in his 20s (via CO2 poisoning from his car) and his daughter now suffers from depression (suspected bipolar II). My great aunt (Grandma's sister) has battled an eating disorder for her entire life; she still only eats one meal a day, restricting to 1000 calories or less. She has low blood pressure and heart problems as a result. To think I believed generalised anxiety - something which my maternal grandmother, maternal aunts, mother and paternal grandmother all suffer(ed) from - was the extent of mental illness in our family! I plan to tell my psychiatrist AP and discuss the hereditary aspects further...although I am now determined to live and carve my own path in life, it is a chilling reminder that this illness is something which cannot be taken lightly and affects so many
-My grandma also told me about her life in Sri Lanka; stories of how she used to clean her ears with peacock feathers because they didn't have cotton buds and how she was forced to leave school at the age of twelve to look after her sisters and the house. It was nice to hear her talk about the 'upcountry' and use words like 'fellows' and 'neh' because it made me feel connected to my heritage, like I'm part of a proper family
-I was granted a government support pension today to assist with my rent and living expenses...after an incredibly degrading process (including getting my mum to sign forms stating that her marriage would collapse if I ever moved back home or explaining in detail how my family contributes to my illness), I am so greatful and relieved to be able to continue my slow and steady process of recovery...this money will allow me to prioritise seeing friends, reading books, organising plans for my conference and charity work and attend medical appointments without worrying about finding a job or feeling good enough to function for a definite period of time or date (one of the most important lessons I've learnt since discharge has been outward emotional honesty; learning how to strip my yellow dress off and just be - whether that be happy, sad or somewhere in between)
-I am not as lonely as I used to be - I have a good support network and actually rejoice when I am alone and left to my own devices. Most recent and adored supports include: Clare M., the Drehan's, Zhi Hui, Lou, Magnus, Laurel Matilda, L's beautiful mum and, even though she's gone, my beautiful god mother who feels so utterly present at this time of feels good to be able to grasp why she choose life just like I have. My brain has been warped for so long that it seemed her life was a pointless misery, not a brave and worthwhile battle
(Side note: it's really bothering me that there are four images and four dot points instead of a set of five...acknowledging this, and with tingling fingers and a sense of dread, I will move on...if you ever hear people complain 'oh, I'm so OCD!' as they are cleaning or organising something mundane, please remind yourself that OCD is a painful condition and I will probably still feel bad about this post tomorrow and the next and the next...#recoveryisabitch)