Warning … this blog post contains details of my poor state of mental health which may be difficult to read.

I am so sorry to my friends.  I know you are very worried about me.  You are wonderful and the last thing I want to do is cause you worry.  I know to lessen this, I am best to keep things hidden, but I need to speak out.  Even though this blog is about me, there are thousands of others, in the same position, who are not getting the help they need and are deteriating fast. 

I’ve not seen friends for some time now but one friend, lives only a few minutes away, who I do see, because there are days I can’t walk Maria and he helps me with her.  It’s important to me that Maria has a strong loving bond with another human being who will ensure her happiness and well-being in-case I top myself.

I want to die.  But the bond between me and Maria is huge and I’m clinging to that for her.  She deserves love.  She deserves my love.  I am the human she chose, and this is the reason I fight for help.  She’s keeping me alive.  Days go by when Maria is the only soul I have contact with.  I always make sure Maria gets out for her ‘business’, but apart from that I am in bed, with Maria beside me cuddling in.  Maria tries to get me out of bed by pawing my face and doing a dance on her hind legs with her paws in the air.  When I do get up in response she jumps about, tail wagging, with a huge grin on her face.  This morning she couldn’t get me up, so she ran through to the office and lay on the chair.  Sure enough, half an hour later, without Maria beside me, I got up and sat at my desk to be beside her.  It was strange sitting at the desk again, in a bright room with the curtains open, my books and promotional material dotted around, a world far away from the one I am in now.  The biggest challenge for me in life, has never been about epic exploits around the world … it’s been about surviving myself.

It’s hard to believe I used to cycle over mountains.  Now I can’t even go out on my bike. Weeks of dirty dishes piled up high and rubbish lying around the kitchen worktops.  Clothes all over my bedroom floor.  I haven’t been able to put a washing on for weeks. 

Then there was the whole toothpaste saga … because I only manage to go to the shops for essentials. I had ran out of toothpaste, so I kept squeezing as much as possible, then I cut the tube in half to scrape my toothbrush inside, but the inevitable arrived and yesterday I had to buy toothpaste.  I couldn’t face going into a shop, into the world, with bright lights and people.  I eventually did but standing in the queue I could smell myself from my dirty clothes and I felt ashamed.

Even though I can be really hungry, I go to the cupboards and I can’t stomach anything that’s in them.  I’ve been living off of one or two salad rolls a day, some days I eat nothing.  

Today I messaged my friend asking if he could take Maria for a walk because I simply couldn’t do it.  It feels horrible to not be able to take my beautiful girl out for a walk.  When he came around to collect her, I was embarrassed and told him not to go into my kitchen.  When he returned, he cleaned my kitchen for me and took my rubbish out.  I had to warn him there were plants growing in some of the cupboards because of food gone off.

My illness is bigger than me.

To be honest I don’t know if I’m going to get help in time and I know from past experience, it’s not long until I end up in a psychiatric ward … or worse. My main concern is Maria and my next task is to make a will to ensure if anything happens that she is looked after.

This blog post is my reality just now. I am however, asking people not to worry as NHS Forth Valley have deemed me not at risk to be getting help right now … so trust the experts. It’ll be another 2 months for psychiatric help, which is way quicker than for psychological help.

I believe people with mental health difficulties need to be speaking out live as it’s happening to show the nation the reality. We need to grow our voice and show the country that we matter and we will not stand by anymore and be discriminated against when it comes to our health.

Ishbel xxx