Autistic linguist Profile picture
May 16, 2018 19 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
It’s mental health awareness week-and as 1 in 4 of us will suffer from a mental illness I’d like to share with you my story.I have nothing to hide and no qualms about delving into my very candid story about my mental health. Trigger warning: suicide idealisation and a long read..
began feeling ‘strange’ around August time 2017. I can’t put my finger on what triggered it or what led me to decline so quickly but I just didn’t feel ‘right’.It all came to a head at Christmas time when I drove home on the motorway drunk after a fall out during a night out
I didn’t fear for my life, I already had it in my head that I was ok if I didn’t survive. Things got worse after that. I made it into work the first day back after Christmas and honestly didn’t know how I hadn’t crashed my car because that’s all I was thinking about doing
I had a breakdown at work and my work friends got me to a doctor ASAP. But I needed more intensive help by this point. I began having idealisations about suicide and a few different scenarios
mainly to do with crashing my car and the most appealing one was downing two bottles of wine and jumping off the local bridge. Appealing may be a strange word to use but in my mind that’s how I felt.
I didn’t feel I had a choice in the matter, it’s what I was going to do. I attempted to run away to do just this but was stopped just in time. I basically got locked in my own house by my husband for my own safety.
I stopped washing, eating, brushing my hair and started seeing and feeling things that weren’t normal. My hair became a tangled and knotted mess that wouldn’t brush out and I convinced myself that I was possessed by a demon
It all sounds very bizarre but it was my reality at the time. I had a ‘crisis team’ come out to see me every day. I was finally admitted to a secure unit in a hospital in January and made one of the nurses cut the demon out of my hair.
I also got a chaplain to try to ‘cast out’ the demon and was allowed ‘out’ to go to church to attempt to confess all of the sins I could remember from my entire life to see if this would help. I don’t know exactly how long I stayed in the secure unit for but it felt like eternity
They mentioned the word ‘Autism’ when I wouldn’t eat in the same room as anyone else because of the noise and talked about the lights being too bright. They referred me for diagnosis which they said could take up to 2 years.
Things didn’t exactly get better after I came out of hospital. I still had bad thoughts and was still getting used to the cocktail of anti depressants and anti psychotics they had put me on. I was drowsy and like a zombie from all the diazepam I was given.
I wasn’t me anymore.I stayed in this zombified state for months until the drugs started kicking in and I felt a little bit more like myself.I got married in July, just days after I’d formally been given my Autism diagnosis and the wedding gave me something to focus on and achieve
I decided to give work another go in November but only managed a few months before my mental health deteriorated again. I quit my job with no other job to go to and felt useless and like a failure
I stayed at home and would hardly get out of bed. I finally got given a break with a new job and it gave me a sense of purpose. Something that I’ve always wanted to do was work with computers and I couldn’t believe my luck.
Things were tough for the first few weeks while I was getting used to a new routine and after a LOT of help from the mental health professionals (my CPN Kay and a service called Building Better Opportunities) I finally found my feet.
I got given another lucky break when I entered a competition on Facebook and managed to win a whole month’s boot camp free. I told myself I’d go once a week and that’d be it. I haven’t looked back since and now go for the full three days a week!
I’m not ‘fixed’ by any stretch of the imagination and still have ‘bad days’ but I can honestly say without me having opened up about what was going on inside me I wouldn’t have got the support from my family and friends and also the amazing health professionals
Please, if this helps just one person to open up its worth me pouring out my (often dehumanising) story. If you’re feeling just ‘not right’- tell someone.

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