This beast is bigger and tougher than me. David and Goliath, if you will. But I have none of David’s precision.
I have lain prostrate. Begging it to stop. The voices of hatred toward me. The feelings of abject terror. The inability to put one foot in front of the other, while around me there was laughter, accomplishments and life worth living.
I tried to die on numerous occasions, not because I wanted to die (I did but it was more complex than that), but because others had an impassive hatred for me, and they wanted me dead.
Over years these battles quite simply knocked the stuffing out of me. I’ve been incapable of work, but I didn’t want to live with my parents. I applied for the disability pension when I was in hospital after it was suggested, and have been on and off it over time.
I’m on it now.
I take no pride in it. Abbott and his cronies should be happy.
But I do take pride in myself. I have faced the devil and survived. I have battled between life and death, good and bad, survival and oblivion.
I’m not a superhero. But I survived. It’s been over 5 years since I last fought the beast.
I know, for many (not my amazing readers who follow me on this journey), this invisible war, is insignificant, an excuse for laziness, for opting out.
It won’t do to say I’m exhausted, to say I’m terrified of having my reality challenged again, what this would mean to my daughter.
My eyes avert when people talk about their knowledge of mental illness when it is not personal, not lived.
It has crippled me, it has taken my soul hostage. For you this is superlative. For me it but skims the surface.
Finally, I feel my plight is taken seriously. Finally, I feel the hand of kindness ushers me in. The National Disability Insurance Scheme recognises mental health disabilities.
“The NDIS is the new way of providing support to people with a psychosocial disability and works to have a positive impact on your everyday life. It will provide opportunities in the community and certainty of funding for supports, and give people more choice and control over how supports are provided.” (Psychosocial disability, recovery and the NDIS factsheet)
It’s holistic and for me involves household support, support with healthy living and work placements, and is flexible to my individual needs.
I have a support coordinator who not only plans but advocates. She ‘gets me’ and doesn’t judge. This is not just a service, it’s healing for my soul, it’s a pathway back to living.
Yes, I have goals. Yes, I have plans. But I know I can’t predict my future. Having protective hands around me provides a sense of security and love from my community I’ve never had.
I want to say a heartfelt:
“Thank you, Australia.
Thank you for this respect, understanding and love.
Thank you for valuing my sanity.”