Posted in Blog

You Left Me High and Dry

When you become sick, your sickness becomes your lover, your best friend, your brother, sister – your life.

It has to.

I have to get to know my epilepsy in order to learn to live with it, I’ve realised that now, so when I became sick my priorities had to change and there are people who will stick by you in that, and others who won’t be able to.

For some insane reason, even only knowing me for ten months (TODAY IS ACTUALLY OUR TEN MONTH ANNIVERSARY BABY!!!)

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– at my worst for the majority of our relationship, my partner has chosen to stick by me. There are friends who have drawn closer to me, to hold me up as if they know I’m about to fall before I even know it… amazing!

And then there are the ones on the other hand, who just don’t get it.

When my oldest friend found out that I had epilepsy, I think she was so shocked because we didn’t know. We’d grown up together and yet we hadn’t known. And then she didn’t know what to say. It was made even more difficult with her living in a different country when I was diagnosed. We went from talking everyday to sporadically and my updates would just be… well depressing, while her’s would be vague.

I remember when she got annoyed at me once while I was still living at my mum’s and I moaned about another friend leaving me to go travelling (I’d already been – I just couldn’t afford to do it again) and she snapped back:

“Not everything is about you, you’re always complaining. Just do something about it.”

I couldn’t: I was sick, but hadn’t been diagnosed yet and most of my money was going to my mum.

But since then, I’d been trying to make an conscious effort to ask her about her life, so I would get annoyed at her for being vague!

I also recall when I needed relationship advice while with my ex: I didn’t know what to do, she was happy to talk it out for hours and by the end of the conversation I’d decided that I was going to end things. However, then I spoke to him we decided to work things out and when I told my friend, she became annoyed that we’d wasted all of that time talking for nothing.

Yet I’d spent years of my time talking it out with her about her relationship and never once thrown it in her face. Until now I guess.

 

Things have been tough this year, and she hasn’t stepped up to the plate. I’ve found her flippant to my agitations – particularly when I opened up to her about work.

After opening up to her about my suicide attempt and the reasons behind it, she sent me a peculiarly flippant text afterwards, which I found upsetting and she didn’t respond.

 

That was about three weeks ago now.

 

Then last weekend I really thought that things had ended for good with my partner and I – a million things were going through my mind: I have to look for a new place because I cannot stay here, I’ve got nowhere to go, I’ve got no job (I’ll explain this fully in a later post), no money. I was beginning to feel incredibly suicidal again. At that moment I sought help from the Crisis Team who managed to talk me down from the “ledge”, however the following day I sent her and another close friend a text to let them know about me and my partner and having to find a new place urgently.

 

She never replied. She still hasn’t.

 

Perhaps she never will.

 

Thankfully I have the people around that respond, who don’t think that I’m too much of a burden to bear.

 

I’m so sick and tired to saying sorry for being sick and tired.

 

I went to see my GP yesterday and it was revealed to me that I had a psychotic episode, triggered by the abrupt withdrawal of antidepressants after my suicide attempt. For some context, I started taking these antidepressants because of my job and at the time of my suicide attempt was on the highest dose; I stopped taking them after my overdose and then after my grand mal seizure, the Psychiatrist came to visit me at home and said to me:

 

“well if you don’t think they’re working, just stop taking them”.

 

The antidepressants I was taking were extremely strong, he knew this, and as a medical professional he would’ve known what would’ve happened when I abruptly stopped taking them, which is what did happen – I became a horrible, psychotic monster. I had no idea how to differentiate between reality and fiction, my home had become my prison, every single sound was amplified to maximum. I’ve never experienced anything like it and I was so thankful that I wrote down my experiences on a piece of paper to take to my GP.

 

In the midst of this, my friend hasn’t been there.

 

Who do I blame for this one? Epilepsy, or mental health?… Or teacher training?!

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Author:

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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