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Forums / Staying well / We all hurt

Topic: We all hurt

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Miss Kitty
    Miss Kitty avatar
    1 posts
    18 June 2013

    I'm new here and have spent some time reading many of the entries before deciding to join. Although each person and their story is unique, it struck me just how many things we all share in common. How much pain we are in, how lonely we are, how isolated we can become, how fearful we are of both the past, present, and future.  Some of us have just climbed aboard the Nuttyville Express stopping all stations and some of us have been hopping on and off the train for years.  Some people never leave the train at all.  Because we keep our head down and don't look around (even at the beautiful view outside the window) it takes a while to realise that the train is packed with fellow travelers who are suffering in silence too.  It is only when a connection is made that we realise that the misery, the anger, the hoplessness, the despair, and the pain is something that we all have in common. We all search for answers; a reason for why we are the way we are, a definative explanation to explain the $64,000 mental illness question: why?  Genetics? Rotten Mother/or Father? Brain Rot? Faulty Brain Chemistry? Unhappy Childhood?, Domestic Violence?, Not Breastfed?  I think we spend years of our lives trying to work out why.  We go to counseling and pyschiatrists and we take pills, more pills, different pills, until we literally rattle in the hopes of poisoning that wretched monkey who has climbed on our back and is determined to hang on no matter how hard we try to throw him off.  As time goes on that monkey gets so fat from feeding on our soul that one slip and we're crushed flat as a pancake. Or snap a hip.  The monkey enjoys the train ride immensly and shares tips with all his fellow monkeys on how to maintain a firm grip at all times.  Throwing garbage around in the carriage to see what sticks is an added bonus.  He's having a wonderful time and never wants the fun to end.  But like all good things it does eventually end - sometimes he slinks off to the monkey only carriage and pouts and broods - sometimes he is escorted off the train by the pharmaceutical guards and sometimes he is thrown from the moving train only to be run over by an anxiety (or manic) train going in the opposite direction.  But he doesn't go down without a fight.  He knows your weaknesses; he knows your triggers.  But then something happens.  You start to recognize (after many train trips) the obvious signs that the monkey has packed a bag for the trip to Nuttyville and has his train ticket ready. You spoil everything by refusing to go along no matter how loud he screeches or how much he jumps up and down.  You know how he operates and while you fear that you haven't seen the last of him, you now have a better understanding of how to battle him if he does decide to pay you a visit. Eternal vigilence! is what you must practice because monkeys are sneaky - they can climb stealthily and carefully onto your back and suggest in a soft, caring tone that a train trip to a nice place called Nuttyville might be helpful.  Before you can say 'but I hate trains' your off the train and wandering around bewildered and frightened at the chaos around you.  Nothing makes sense, when you speak to other people they either don't understand what you are saying or ignore you.  You shout, you cry, you beg for help but everyone seems to be caught up in their own lives, their own problems.  Then you notice a shop that has a large friendly sign saying 'Don't Panic' Help Available.  You peer through the windows and see people with caring expressions on their faces talking with the walking wounded. Some were silent and some were crying but what struck you the most was that the people with the caring faces were really listening to those in pain. Someone sees you and smiles, waving you to come in.  You have taken the first step; always the most difficult.  You cry out your pain and they gently tell you what must be done before you can finally go home.  You try, you fail, you try again, you go down to the train tracks  wandering if  the pain will stop.  You realize that you don't really want to die, you just want the pain to stop.  You go back and try again and gradually you begin to reclaim your life.  You accept that the monkey may never leave completely.  You accept that like a diabetic who must take insulin, you may need to take those pills to function properly.  You suddenly understand that a lot of those negative things you have been thinking and feeling don't seem to be as real or as important as they once were.   It was that sneaky freakin monkey whispering all that garbage into your ear the whole time. You shake your head trying to work out how you fell for such a cruel trick. It took pills and help to kick the monkey through the goal posts.  The crowd goes wild and you raise your arms in a sign of victory knowing that you may have to kick a few more goals before you either win or draw, but you have a smile on your face and hope for the future.  You see the Nuttyville train pass by and you give a cheery wave and blow a rasberry at all the pouting, sullen monkeys.  They try to throw garbage at you but then realize that the windows have been nailed shut.  The sneaky Pharmaceutical Guards giggle and snigger.

    I'm 53, diagnosed with chronic depression in '98, and am currently going through my 2nd episode in 12 months (or maybe its the same episode? Bad Monkey!). My doctor has increased my medication and at the moment I feel dead inside.  The monkey and I are having a Matrix-style fight in the train station but I know, like Neo, that I'm gonna throw that sneaky SOB under the first train that pulls in.  Maybe there is no acceptable answer to why - maybe if we just accept that our illness is part of who we are and that it needs to be treated instead of trying to 'cure' it or pretend it doesn't exist we might find a measure of peace and the the ability to see past it when it strikes.  Or maybe we just need mental Angry Birds with a passion for destroying monkeys instead of pigs...

  2. S.A.D.
    S.A.D. avatar
    265 posts
    28 June 2013 in reply to Miss Kitty

    beautifully created and "e x t e n d e d" analogy. I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you!

    I have come to accept I will be on the train for life, especially since I was born on the train and haven't been able to get off, not once, in 31 years. Given this acceptance I'm learning to work on the train, teaching the passengers to help each other with those monkeys. A monkey that is on a person's back, and gripping them with both arms and legs, is very vulnerable from behind. I like to come along with a shaver and expose them further, make the illness feel vulnerable, weak, incapacitated, thereby releasing it's captive to defend itself. I am currently surrounded by 15 very bald, very angry monkeys, with 4 on my back. Can you help?

  3. The Real David Charles
    The Real David Charles avatar
    1014 posts
    28 June 2013

    Dear Miss Kitty,

    Depression has so many references.   Two depressive episodes at 53 isn't bad if you had that chronic depression way back in '98.    That's 3 episode in 15 years.    You must be, as you say, ever vigilant !  Eternal Vigilance sounds like a movie where various normal people try and prevent Tom Cruise from acting ever again.  Lol.

    Adios, David.

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