It has been a long time, far too long, since I last posted here. My last post was on July 22nd, and it is now 4th November. At one point I updated this site with new content every two days, and then that gradually became once a week, and then nothing at all.
A large part of the reason is that I feel I have run out of things to say. I have talked, written about my own experiences with mental health and ill-health, of my understanding of being a Christian with a mental health problem, of what advice I can give. I am pleased with what I have written. I looked into my stats and discovered that the majority of those who are still reading this site are seeking for ways to talk to and help depressed friends, for information on scrupulosity, about mental illness and sin, and about self harm. I have covered these topics and am uncertain whether re-writing and covering them again would serve any useful purpose.
Yet I know that there is a large amount of stigma within and without the churches about mental health – and that blogs can (maybe) help with that. To be a blogger in a particular niche is to be something of an activist, and that can help. I have been approached to write an article on living with bipolar for Woman Alive (to be published next year) which I have accepted (although I now have to decide if I go public with my full, whole name, or just use my first name, or whatever).
I don’t really want to write endlessly on the same topics, reaching the same conclusions. I don’t know whether to fully restart this blog and publish on a once-weekly basis as a minimum, and hope for the best, but I do worry that I will end up saying the same thing over and over. I also started feeling a little stressed by this “contract” I had made for myself, to publish regularly, and ended up not wanting to publish anything at all.
I am tempted to start a new and more general blog. But then I, embarrassingly, worry that no one will want to read a general blog when I know that niche topics attract more of an audience as they have a sort of “hook”.
I shall have to decide. But there may be yet more delay in postings here while I do decide.
In terms of personal life things have been a bit up and down. I had my ESA medical recently (no results as yet) which destabilised me a lot, particularly as I decided to end a sort-of relationship I had developed at the same time, due to me being a little uneasy about it. Fortunately I went to visit my friend in Scotland last week and feel a lot better as a result. There are various people in my church who now know about my illness – our curate, one of the retired vicars and the director of ordinands all know, and have not run away screaming or anything!
I did visit my psychiatrist recently and decided to forestall reducing my medication again for a while as I have been a little too unstable. I am due to see her again in 6 months.
Continuing problems are the lack of jobs available in my area (plus of course that most jobs wouldn’t touch me with a barge-pole given the amount of time I have had off sick) and the fact that I get bored and end up in the pub a lot. This was an additional factor in not posting blogs as I generally write and think at night, and if I am in the pub I am obviously not writing and thinking! This is a result of another problem – for years I have been tired, almost all of the time, and end up sleeping an enormous amount and feeling somewhat impaired cognitively at other times because I am weary. No one seems to know why this would be – at first it was suggested that if I got my blood glucose lowered I would be better (I am diabetic) but when I reduced it to 32 (5.1%) there was no change. It was also suggested that the rispiridone I was taking was responsible but I have now come off that altogether and, again, no change. Now it just seems to be a “something to do with your meds” conversation-ender that I get. It is annoying.
I am feeling more settled in my mind at the moment. More stable. I am doing a course with the church which is aimed to deepen spiritual life (although so far I have been a bit disappointed) I am going to try to be more disciplined in my spiritual life – read, pray more, etc. I could do, I think, with more stillness, more contemplation, more reflection on God, and certainly more listening to him than I have been doing. I often feel like my head is too busy and confusing – heightened at times of anxiety and depression – and I think that if I force myself to be still, then I might just learn something.
In any case thank you for still reading this blog and if you have any advice/suggestions for what I should do with it/its future, then I would be most grateful to you all. I am also reconnecting with Twitter: @believersbrain
Thank you for reading.