My mental health melt down is reducing my carbon footprint and here is why…

Being stuck in bed with a relapse is not ideal, nor fun. I have experienced a minor bump in the road….or is it a big fucking pothole! I don’t know yet and I won’t know I guess until I am a few more weeks into it, but hopefully, by then I will be out of it. Then yes I can call it a bump.

Having a relapse is not a very fun time. For me or for anyone else who supports me ie my husband and my mother. They have to get on with their normal working day. While they also take on board my health and wellbeing. It’s like having a child around the house. If my husband is on shift then he takes me to my mothers who works from home. That way she can keep an eye on me. Not really a lot to keep an eye on though when I don’t move far from the bed. Then when the husband has finished work he drops by we usually eat dinner together. So that is one less thing he has to take care of, cooking. Then he packs me into the car. He jokingly asks ‘how was daycare today?’ Then we go home to bed. Where on a good night I stare at the ceiling until my increased meds kick in. Or on a bad night get up and party around the house until 4 in the morning working on some amazing new idea I have just had.

It is times like these that I find the hardest to keep my sense of humour. Lots of really shitty thoughts try to break into my head like – you are such a burden to everyone, what your Mum and husband have to put up with is so unfair. Yada yada! I won’t go on I’m sure you get the point. There are plenty of other blogs out there you can read about the self-despair felt during a mental health relapse.

So this morning when I was having a shower (yes I am still showering so technically winning) I had a wee chuckle when I was able to convince myself that having a mental health relapse is actually helpful to the planet (remember I like to use humour when dealing with my mental health, and it’s my mental health right!? So I get to deal with how I see fit). That is right! My mental health meltdown is reducing my carbon footprint and here is why:

  1. I am currently not having to drive to work every day and so reducing the amount of petrol I am using.
  2. When I go to my Mum’s for so-called ‘daycare’ my husband takes me on his way to work therefore we are carpooling.
  3. No lunchtime shopping for me currently – a drastic reduction in buying unnecessary crap
  4. The amount of food I am consuming has reduced, so the amount of food being brought by us at the supermarket has also.
  5. We are eating together as a family. Therefore our food is made and cooked in bulk. Less wastage.

So there you have it! My mental illness might mean I am not doing so well at the moment but the environment is winning…well a little anyway.

Ultimately this is how I know I will be O.K. because I can still make something that is totally shitty mc shit shit a little funny.


Why I choose to use humour when discussing my mental illness.

It’s not to everyone’s taste and I can be serious if I need to be. When discussing other people’s mental health I always do it with respect. But when it comes to myself I choose to use humour and a little sarcasm. Why? Because that is what I am comfortable with. From my experience, I also find that it helps other people feel less awkward and they are more likely to feel comfortable about talking all things mental health-related with me. Would I crack a mental health joke about myself to anyone? Of course not. First of all, I would get to know you and make sure you can handle my approach. Then it’s game on!

My mental illness is with me for life. Yes, it is serious and my use of humour is in no way meant to minimise how serious it is. But by putting a funny spin on it I can see the silver lining. Somedays a silver lining is the only thing I have to hang on to.

My husband also uses humour when discussing my mental health. As he too finds it easier to cope this way. For example, maybe I have gone a night without sleep. He will ask me “were you working the night shift last night?” or maybe he will refer to my medicine as my “unihorn suppressants”. If I am having a particularly hard day he will console me with “it is hard work being a unicorn isn’t it?” I love the metaphors and similes we use to discuss my mental illness. It takes the hard edges off it. Suddenly it seems doable, even laughable.

My mental illness is very much a part of me it is what makes me quirky, why I see the world differently, why I am so creative. It is also why I sometimes can’t sleep, get out of bed, wash, why I can’t eat. With the good, there is also the bad. So with the seriousness, there has got to be some humour.

I find that when talking with others who have a mental illness the best way to approach it is to take their lead. If they want to be serious then be serious with them. If they want to talk about it lightheartedly then do that. Most importantly don’t shut them down. If someone who has a mental illness has been brave enough to talk to you about it. Listen, be receptive, ask questions, show you care.