Posted in Blog

The Dark Cloud

This week has been incredibly tough.

I had two seizures over two consecutive days.

I wanted to die

The lines become blurred where I don’t know if the flu like fatigue was caused from the seizures, or the darkness within. 

I wanted to die.

Every waking hour and every hour I sleep, I am filled with anxiety over going back to work. Just this morning, I awoke from a nightmare about work: the isolation, the people. At one point I was standing in a chaotic room begging for help, and everybody just passed me by. They acknowledged me, but they passed me by.

I’ve spent a lot of the past two weeks of my free time in bed.

I’ve also henceforth been spending A LOT of time online, and in one of the forums I’ve joined, one of the members described the stigma surrounding mental health so well:

It is simple for anyone in society to empathise with physical illness, from the common cold, to broken bones to cancer; all people have felt physical pain in their lives. Every adult knows that the more severe end of physical illness can mean death. Something people don’t have a choice over, something a lot of people are either afraid of or have come to terms with. Something people can empathise with.

With mental illness, the situation is altogether different. Unless you’ve experienced it, it is hard to empathise with people suffering from it. There are a few exceptions, e.g. people with Downs Syndrome, severe learning difficulties ie some of those which are visibly obvious.

Even when people try their best to understand mental illness, many still find it difficult to put themselves in the position of someone afflicted with one.

Unluckily for me, I’ve been afflicted by two invisible illnesses and society just doesn’t know how to cope when I can’t cope.
Unfortunately, when it comes to mental illness, people do lack empathy; to many people, mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety related illnesses are all just a state of mind. I would be rich if I had a pound for the amount of times people have told me the following:

“Think positively”

“Pull yourself together”

“Be thankful for what you have!”

“Do all this and you’ll be fine! That’s what I do when I’m feeling down”

These are all refrains I hear all the time.

Helpful? No

Useless? Yes

But golly did I try them! As I laid in bed alone during the day while my boyfriend was at work, and even while crying in the toilets at work, I tell myself the same old shit that you guys tell me, to try and pull myself together.

But it doesn’t work.

With regard to the visible symptoms of mental illness, such as psychosis and suicidal ideation, society would rather lock it away. When you reach out to friends or loved ones in those darkest moments, they either don’t respond, call you selfish, or send you a list of reasons to live. Physical sickness doesn’t listen to reason and neither does mental sickness.

Unfortunately mental illness carries such a powerful stigma, that it makes the victim more isolated. 

Thankfully, the darkness has lifted. Just as suddenly as it came down upon me. Thankfully I’ve moved to a new area and am awaiting a referral for help.

Thankfully my boyfriend is my best friend. 

Last night as as the dark cloud finally lifted, we played “how low can you go” to Tinie Tempah’s new album. 

I’ll probably never beat the Epilepsy demon, but I have to beat this dark cloud. 


I’m Cece Alexandra and I have Epilepsy. Since being diagnosed, my life has changed significantly. After studying and teaching Humanities and Literature for all of my adult life, I was bullied and lost my job a month before qualifying to become an English Teacher. Once you fail the Teacher Training course in England, you cannot ever retrain; I then became too sick to work because of my Epilepsy. I am now currently studying an MSc in Mental Health Psychology with the University of Liverpool. My disability provokes me into raising awareness for invisible disabilities, which I also actively partake in with Epilepsy Action. Part of that awareness is to help fight against invisible disability discrimination - I believe that this behaviour is not cognitively unconscious; modern society is actively partaking in a hierarchy of disabilities and I believe that there is not enough psychological research to prove this. I am also clinically interested in Cultural Psychology - particularly Collectivist Culture, and wish to pursue this further in my academic career.

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