For those of you whom don’t know me personally, I’ve recently relocated from Sunny Scarborough in England, down to Grantham, for a number of reasons which I will come to cover in future posts. The main ones being, however, due to breakdown of past relationships coupled with the fact that I felt as though I needed to be back closer to my hometown of Newark, closer to my family & friends, following my recent section & diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder & Emotional Unstable Personality Disorder (Borderline), in addition to other conditions. other conditions.
The move has been stressful, as it would be for anyone, but overall it’s gone pretty much as well as could be expected. It prompted me to write this post however, because of something that happened on the first night I arrived. Something that, had I not been in a positive frame of mind at the time, could have knocked me for six and sent my into a downward spiral.
I’d arrvied at the new property and carefully removed my boxes of possessions from the van and took them into the house before pass my gratitude on and saying goodbye to the van driver who had kindly lent a hand. After unpacking I then decided to make the 5 minute walk to the local shop to pick up some essentials to tide me (and the cats!) over for the next few days, which is when the actions of a stranger prompted me to write this post.
I walked to the end of my new street and turned right, and immediately noticed a car waiting at the junction up ahead (I’m always fairly aware of my surroundings, especially new ones, being a fairly anxious and scatty personality). As it turned and began approaching me, a young man, certainly no older than 20-odd, leaned out of the passenger seat window, shouted something loudly (inaudible) in my direction then accompanied this with a hand gesture towards me. Harmless fun… just young tomfoolery, right? To most sure, absolutely. Unfortunately though, ‘most’ doesn’t cover the 1 in 4 each year that suffer from some form of mental illness, be it anxiety, depression, or ‘other’.
I certainly didn’t know the guy, and as it happened, given my mood I quite easily shrugged it off. Moments later though, after I’d got my shopping and I was making the short walk back home, it got me to thinking. If I were to replay that scenario at a time where I was going through a deep depression or a particularly rough bout of anxiety, I imagine and somewhat fear that something as minor as that could have actually had significant impact on my mental wellbeing, possibly leading to me isolating myself, self loathing, or mood cycling.
My point being, to that individual he probably thought nothing else of his actions that day, and why should he? Except, I can’t shake the question of, would he have acted the same had the person walking down the street that day been somebody with a clear, physical disability? I’d lean towards the answer being no. It’s a problem that, in my opinion, doesn’t have an easy solution and there’s certainly no quick fix, but perhaps just talking about things like this will ultimately remind people that you never can be sure what somebody’s battling underneath it all.
Have you got a similar story where you’ve been personally affected by somebody you don’t know directly; be it when you’re been in an episode, or in a fairly balanced state? Please take a moment to post a comment below.