Invisible Illness

kerryisill

Today I have retreated to bed for the day. As hard as I try, it is very difficult for friends and colleagues to understand the peculiarities of my mental illness. You have all seen me with my happy face on, sometimes it’s forced but mostly it’s not. My mood today is nothing to with our current circumstances. I have days like this every fortnight or so and somehow I will have to relate this in an application form to apply for Disability Benefit. If only you could just attach a photograph, eh?

My intellectual capacity and usual appearance will undermine an application so I expect to be refused at least twice even with the backing of my psychiatrist who has known me for 11 years. I saw him yesterday and although he cannot take any more patients he said he would continue to see me no matter the future insurance. What a sweetheart he is.

The holiday season always takes its toll on me. I take on too much, forget that no amount of wine will take away my social anxiety and everyone tells me how great I look, ironically. I was looking forward to going to work today despite feeling tired. My ‘healthy’ appearance at the Christmas party had fooled my boss into giving me an extra duty that I always excel at but it wipes me out. When I got the schedule last night I wanted to cry – I just couldn’t do it.

The extra duty was training. I have a variety of post college training certificates in this and myriad other fields (the oddest was funeral counselling skills). When you are feeling mentally exhausted, you may as well be climbing Everest. I am annoyed at myself, at my boss, at the world and at my genetics. It is so frustrating to see other people working normally. My psychiatrist is the same age as me – he had worked at a hospital in the morning, was seeing out-patients until at least 6.30 pm and looked as fresh as a daisy. He was mentally sharp and even made me fall over laughing at his wit.

I didn’t write this for pity but you can sympathize if you like. Tomorrow, I will be back to my usual self and focus on physical tasks such washing the deck. I suppose the exercise gurus are correct about exercise being good for the brain and body but personally I love the satisfaction of completing a useful task. If anyone has any cows to herd, I will be available… 🙂