Hi' I'm Matt Streuli, I'm a mental health advocate and this is my #mentalhealth blog. I survived suicide and I am the 'adult child' of an alcoholic. Aside from my radio show and being a pantomime theatre dame, I am a media volunteer for mental health charities such as MIND, a Time to Change Champion and a blogger for The Huffington Post. In 2015 I wrote an article for the CALM charity website and in 2016 my story was featured in an article in The Guardian newspaper.
It is very hard to write a blog post when it feels like there is nothing wrong. In short, I feel fine.
The last time I blogged about my mental health adventure (click here to see it) I was waiting a referral which I am please to confirm did happen.
Last Thursday I met a therapist at Upton Hospital in Slough.
From the outside Upton looks like a Victorian mansion that’s been requisitioned
into the NHS. In a small corner is the Slough Memory Clinic but once inside it feels
like a very clean and modern GP surgery. I was met by a therapist who took me into
a ‘Group Therapy’ room. With its high sided armchairs reminded me more of
the lounges in care homes where the inmates wait for death. I filled out the
same questionnaires that I completed a few weeks ago over the phones – to track
any changes I assume – and then I was ‘interviewed’. I think interviewed is the
best word to explain it as it didn’t feel like any CBT (Cognitive Behavioural
Therapy) session I have had. I gave a summary of recent highs including
pantomime and the last low. In her opinion, it does sound like bipolar and she
said she would refer me to a specialist team who using tools like CBT would
help me. At this time, just over a week later, I am yet to receive a letter
with an appointment.
At the time of the meeting I was low; not lowest and not in
a bad place but just low. I don’t know if it was that meeting or perhaps some
unimportant (in hindsight) news that triggered my crash. Over Thursday night
and into Friday morning I crashed to the bottom of my ‘cycle’. I had extremely
worrying thoughts even testing whether a belt would take my weight. I severed
all contact with the outside world and refused to even acknowledge it. The last
thing I felt I could do is socialise with people because it is so draining. Everyone
gets those days were we just can’t tolerate that loosed jawed person at work
who won’t shut up or that one member of the family everyone limits their time
with. I felt that there was no way I could put on the Matt Streuli act at all
and I didn’t want people seeing me unable to engage. I know the people reading
this will say that “we love you no matter what” and it does mean a lot to hear
that. However, I do not love myself and I feel I am burden; a burden I would
hate to impose on anyone. If I ever become a burden or severely disabled with
age where I do nothing but hinder the lives of others, I would kill myself. I would kill myself in
exactly the same way we euthanase pets when it’s the ‘kind’ thing to do. Why am
I any different to your cat?
Except that I don’t shit all over your floor.
On Sunday, my close friends Louis and Falcon turned up at my
flat. Knocking on doors and windows, they sent me texts demanding to see me. I
hid. I pulled my covers over me. I wanted to be alone in a self imposed exile. Everyone
was obviously worried about me and my unusual media blackout to the point that
Falcon and Louis went to my Dad’s house. My dad called me. My immediate
reaction was that I felt betrayed. Rationally I of course understand why they
went to my Parents and I am so grateful I have fantastic friends like this. Emotionally
I felt betrayed and this isn’t something I can justify. Over the next few days
I forced myself to interact with people and apart from a ‘low tolerance’ moment
of deleting a certain backstabbing hypocritical bitch from my facebook, I have
been coming up the other side of the ditch. I would like to point out that,
sometimes, it is worth purging some people from your life as you realise that those people are purely toxic. Yes, that means upsetting people which I do not like
BUT I would rather sever the link than continue to be hurt by their nasty
I have been to my GP and got another 4 weeks of meds and had
my dose doubled. It could just be the placebo effect but acting happy is a lot easier
than it was a week ago.
Part of me is looking forward to the next step of my referral
but somewhat dreading the inevitable step it brings with it; officially informing
Now cheer up. Its not all bad.
Thank you once again for reading my blog and please do retweet
and youtube and blah.
Did I mention I copresent one of the most popular ‘news’
podcasts on mixcloud? Check out OFF THE RADAR!