This is going to be a little bit of a different post, but its something I want to address.
I’ve been having a bit of a down month and feeling really un inspired / un motivated to do anything. My anxiety was running so high that I was scared to check emails or open my laptop. If I didn’t see it, it didn’t exist to me in reality yet, only my mind. I don’t know what I was hiding from (probably emails and uni grades) but it terrified me to the point that I would cry to myself and then get angry at myself for crying.
I’m going to apologise in advance for the structure of this post, this is something that I should probably plan and proof read but if I do that, I fear I’ll take something out that is actually important. I want to talk about mental health and talk about some things that I suffer from in the hopes that someone out there can read this and maybe go and talk to someone to get help or just have a chat.
For some reason the month of July has been a low month for me. I was on Uni holidays and I guess idle hands/minds mean I have extra time to tell myself what I hate about me, and the worst part is – I listened.
“you’re not good enough, you should probably stop trying”. “Ugh, omg Caitlan, why are you so shit at everything”. “All your friends are better than you, they’re getting on with their lives and you’re still here, worthless”. “don’t eat that, you probably should stop eating all together”. “one meal a day is enough for you”.
This and more is what was going through my head for the majority of the past month or so. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t happy and loving life at some points, because I was. But sometimes that makes it worse. It makes me feel guilty. “why are you having fun when you’re so gross?” Then it would spark a darkness wherein which I didn’t want to get out of bed, which made me feel guilty for staying in bed all day and make me feel worse. Its a cycle.
I know I’m not the only one to feel like this, and I know it sometimes gets worse than this but its not a competition as to who can feel the worst about themselves/life. It never is nor should it be.
If you’re having feelings like this, then its the best to talk to someone. Start out with your parents, or of you can’t / don’t feel comfortable with that, your friends. Lord knows my best friends knew me better than I knew myself at times and they understood everything. I eventually worked up the courage (was encouraged by my best friend at the time) to go and see someone. I didn’t want to, but I knew I should. My main concerns were that I’d get judged, or I’d get dismissed with just a ‘get over it’, but that wasn’t the case at all. They listened and helped, they helped me put a name to what was plaguing me and because of that, when I feel myself spiralling into the depths of my own self destructive mind, I know that the feeling won’t last because I know i’m not ‘broken’.
Also, sometimes its easier to open up to someone new because you don’t have to see them in your everyday life. Its like writing in a journal that no one will ever find.
Through talking to a professional I found out I have something they refer to as a ‘negative schema’ which is basically when something negative comes to mind, I latch onto it and make it worse and sometimes end up sitting in a dark room for a day or a week, as long as it takes for me to break out of it myself. Now, you may read this and feel the same way, which might be correct, but, self diagnosis is not the way to go. Please if you are feeling this way talk to someone. If not someone you know, try these helplines.
If you’re reading this and think you may recognise these symptoms in someone you care about, please approach the subject lightly and don’t push them for answers, sometimes all they can say is ‘I don’t know why I feel this way’. which is true, sometimes I won’t know why I feel as bad as I do, but it results in me being depressed and not eating for a day or two. Everyone is different. Please don’t try and say ‘snap out of it’ or ‘we all love you why are you sad’. For me, that makes it worse, makes me feel like I can’t control it, or that I’m not worthy of the love and affection that I get from family and friends. If you have someone who gets these mood swings, just hold them if they need it, lay with them, keep a watchful eye on them, but mainly all I need is someone to just be there for me when I need it. But of course everyone is different.
I’m not posting this for pity, or to try and help others self diagnose. I want to get it out there that no one is perfect and sometimes the cheeriest people can be empty on the inside. Mental health is so important and it isn’t something that we should feel ashamed about. Sometimes it isn’t just one thing, its a multitude of things and different aspects of mental health that come into play with someones mind. But just know that there are people who can help you and the people around you love you. You’re not alone.
Thank you so much for reading, and don’t forget:
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