Lesson One – You are not Immune!
Honestly it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you’re from, or even where you might be going, the thing about Mental Health Difficulties is that they do not discriminate. Everyone in their lifetime is going to be affected, directly or indirectly. I think as human beings we are pre-programmed into believing the theory of “It will never happen to me” but it does happen. I, for one never believed that I would find myself detained under the Mental Health Act, the very thought of it was laughable and yet it happened, and it happened repeatedly. Yet still every time I found myself locked on a ward I was left feeling vulnerable and unsure and as a result all my intellectual rational went out of the window, and my reactions became solely animalistic. In those moments when you realise you’re trapped, and your freedom has been compromised, you fight, you run, you do anything and everything that you wouldn’t even consider yourself capable of to break free. In the end being caged goes against our nature and a person will do whatever is necessary to protect that right. People would ask me why I couldn’t just keep my behaviour in check, why I couldn’t just stop, do as I was told, slow down the destruction. I could never give them an answer, not because I didn’t want to, but because I couldn’t explain to them that it was like someone or something else had taken over me, that it wasn’t me and I wasn’t in control. At that time my life felt like I was in the middle of a nightmare and I couldn’t wake up. It was unreal and I couldn’t figure out how it had happened to ME, after all I was the kid with “so much potential” the one that was “going to go far and achieve great things”. Mental Health Problems were never part of the plan.
© Vanessa Findlay