Telling the Rellies.

Not much to say today. I wrote about nightmares today for my book, which was hard. It was also challenging to talk to family who did not know about my illness. I thought that I had moved past it affecting me, however realise after that conversation that I still find it upsetting to discuss. I could not talk about it, even with loved ones. Because it hurt too much; it made me want to cry. Pain and sorrow welled up from my stomach, creeping, seeping into my throat. My voice caught.

We are making jokes over a cup of coffee about me being a psycho, a mental case. Humour can be the best medicine right? It takes the power out of the trauma. Except when not everyone knows about the trauma and you have to talk about it seriously for a moment.

‘You know about what has been going on, right’, I inquire, feeling that sensation of panic begin to creep across my face.

My relatives shake their heads. Oh, okay then. Deep breath. I steal a quick look at mum.

‘Didn’t you tell them?’

‘Tell them what? It’s not my business to tell’, mum replied.

I drop my eyes and begin to fidget with my hands.

I begin, ‘I’ve got post natal depression and have had a psychotic episode’. Confused faces.

‘Well PND is common, but the psychotic episode is not. Do you know about it?’ I query.

My relatives shake their heads. Oh, okay then. Deep breath. I steal a quick look at mum.

‘It’s um…’, and suddenly my voice breaks. I realise that this is not going to work. I can feel the pain, the overwhelming urge to… ‘I don’t think I can talk about it right now, if that’s okay. It’s just something that has happened and I have to take medication for it. Anti-psychotics. It is what we were laughing about…’ my voice trails off at the end of the sentence.

‘It’s fine, you don’t have to…’ my family begin, and I glance quickly across at their faces and see calm, reassurance, love.

It is okay not to talk about it yet. Because I haven’t even talked to myself about it yet. Instead I am focusing on the moment and enjoying some respite from the anxiety and thoughts. Relishing the new sounds from Master X and the glimmer of light shinning through the dark.

If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide please contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14


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