Why hello there!
So, here the therapy begins. A diary. A journal. (Feeling very Dr. Watson.) I wanted to start writing my experiences with mental issues as the one thing I’ve learnt in the past year or so, is that more people than you think live with some sort of “condition of the mind”, so to speak. Yet given the statistics regarding mental health, the stigma still stands. So screw the system. Down with the Stigma. Here we go.
I myself have an interesting combination of Anxiety, Stress, and Depression. Usually in that order, too, if I’m honest ha. What makes me a wonderful empath also makes me a nervous wreck. I think; more often than not far too much. Admittedly it has it’s uses. It creates a compassion in me that many admire, a way of seeing varying perspectives, stuff like that. However what it also does it scare me into submission. Rule my life with an Iron Fist of fear, worry, and embarrassment. What I am most terrified of is being misunderstood by those in my life – my family, my partner, my boss, my peers. Those who are closest to me who you’d imagine I’d be most comfortable around are actually the people my anxiety targets. I can, most often, fake it to the masses. To Joe Blogg on the street. I can smile, and wax lyrical, and tell the guy selling Sky TV I’m running late for the train. But to the people who are close to me, the people I feel I owe, I crumble. Go weak at the knees.
I’ve learnt really that many of my Characteristics are actually symptoms. Many that I’ve had for years and not realized. Like always being ‘on the go’. Always working on something, projects everywhere. Which in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, but it’s like anxiety has creeped in to my life, taken my Characteristics and turned them up to 11. To the point where I start to wear myself out. My plate spinning act has too many plates and things start to wobble (Here is usually where the Stress kicks in, but that’s another post for another day). So you rain check the coffee with your bestie from Uni you haven’t seen in years, or tea with your parents.
“What if they think I’m blagging it?”
“What if they think I just can’t be bothered?”
Familiar? Then comes the feeling of self loathing and hatred for being a shit person. Oh the joys.
Then there’s work!
“What if the boss doesn’t believe the train was really late!”
“What if I’m not as good as I think I am?”
“Boss called a one on one meeting?! a.k.a. Your dismissal. They’ve figured you out. You’re gone.”
That stomach in throat feeling when the boss asks “can I borrow you for a minute?” Bleugh! Nausea inducing.
Then you try to apply logic and rational thought to it. Yea we’ve all tried haven’t we ha. It works eventually, but it takes time and practice.
So what’s the point of these ramblings? These confessions, of sorts. Well, firstly I find vocalizing or externalizing these inner turmoils makes them seem as un-probable and silly as they really are. Keeping them inside spirals and they become very real, big monsters that envelope all they see. Also, the past year I’ve learnt that a lot of people suffer with “conditions of the mind” so to speak. To read other’s experiences helps validate your own, I find. Particularly when you read something that you yourself do and you get that feeling of relief wash over you; “I’m not alone!”
Just remember, you’re worth the time. We’re All Mad Here..,.
Katie B xx
- Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
- PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
- Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information.
- Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
- Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.