This week has been one of the bad ones. Not particularly heartbreaking or tough, nothing bad has actually happened. That’s the bastard of mental health issues. I know that there are going to be particular days that make me spiral, anniversaries of loved ones, birthdays, etc., you prepare yourself for these. It’s the days it sneaks up on you that are the killer.
I went out drinking on Monday so a bit of the fear the following day is inevitable. You know the usual ‘what did I do late night?’ “Who did I offend?” “Why do I do this?” that nonsense. Experience has shown me this affects most people. However it is Friday now and the fear has stayed. It starts off innocuously enough, like the little comments above; little niggles of self-doubt, questions about your social ability. (Am I a shit date? Did I embarrass myself?)
These, for me that least, are usually followed by a group text apologizing for my behavior, this guilt’s the recipient into telling me I was a consummate professional with nothing to fear. This momentarily elevates my fear until I realize I have undermined my performance of ‘charming witty companion’ the previous night and made everybody recall and rate my behavior.
Now I’m panicking! Why did I remind them, should I leave the country? ‘What if the think I’m a dick? Will my insecurity undermine the work I do with them?
Now I’m spiraling!
I understand for a lot of people this doesn’t ring true or even make sense but its weird, I can rationalize it away, I can understand its origins but I cant stop it.
This is the stage when eating becomes a challenge, I start reflecting on all the times I have embarrassed myself. I read a book to distract myself but realize I am daydreaming about all the times people have laughed at me. I put on the telly. I think about people I have hurt. I make coffee. I wonder if I will ever do enough good to undo all the hurt I have caused. I hoover. I think of the people who ‘expected great things of me’. I cook dinner, but realize I don’t have the entire ingredient. I contemplate leaving the house but it scares me. I write a poem about my feeling. I berate myself for being a cliché. I tell myself to cope the fuck on, that my educated white privileged existence has given me the luxury of enough space to have feelings like this and review them, while more deserving people die in war torn countries living through depravity. Now I’m upset cause I am a dick and the cycle continues.
I post comments on FB and delete them instantaneously incase I have to justify them. I don’t think I can fight today.
The logical side of me knows that these times happen; sometimes it’s a day, sometimes a month. I always get through eventually but that seldom helps in the throngs of it.
Writing this isn’t just a selfish labor of self-aggrandizing, I’m not writing it cause its different or new, I am writing it because I know that so many people we meet everyday are going throw just the same. That so many of us are spiraling down the well and it’s embarrassing and unacceptable to ask for help. I am ashamed to write this but I cannot tell people to be open about mental health issues by ignoring my own.
If you are not having a week like mine please acknowledge someone around you could be, please give them space to deal with it. Xxx