‘My head is heavy, my head is blocked’

A journey into despair and hopelessness

Unsplash-Yuris Alhumaydy

A close family member of mine has just been admitted into a mental health hospital. Having experienced both her glory days and how she spiralled down the slippery slope of hopelessness and helplessness, I realise how precious our minds are. And yet we take it for granted.

Once we lose it, what do we have left?

As everybody sees the external, we have fallen into the habit of placing such an emphasis on it to the detriment of the internal. So those who suffer in secret are not easily detected. They move amongst us, cloaked in normalcy until they are alone. Since they are experts at pretending to be well, we assume that they must be.

We had spoken a few times prior to her being admitted. She had kept repeating ‘my head is heavy, my head is blocked’. I had grappled with what to say in return. Prayed desperately for the right words to come tumbling out of my mouth. Something that would soothe her soul and somehow pull her back over the edge of despair.

And yet I knew deep inside that it would never be enough. This was simply a plaster to momentarily cover the wounds. 
The real threat was complex and had somehow intertwined with her soul, the unwanted guest who always hung around, unavoidable and stayed attached in moments that she was alone. She is waging a war against demons that nobody else could see. They suffocate, torture and threaten her peace and sanity.

Memories of the past, overwhelming thoughts going round in circles. 
The past merges with the present until there is no clear difference. 
They haunt her very being and stay close like second skin.

Life hanging by a thread, death seemingly the best option.

‘What is the point of waking up in the morning when it will be just like every other day’? She asked.

I gulp.

“I know you feel isolated right now and the world seems an uninviting place. And right now it will be challenging to imagine that it could get any better, but everything is seasonal.

So, fight for another second, another hour, another day.

This too shall pass”.

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