“Wouldn’t they be better off without me? What if I just stayed in my house and stopped responding to texts and phone calls? Deleted all social media? Then I would never have to explain myself, worry about saying or doing something inappropriate or have to go on some kind of apology tour.”
These are the thoughts that go through my head on a daily basis. I am just so tired. Tired of trying to be “normal”. Tired of trying to socialize when my brain is screaming at me to leave. Tired of leaving every situation involving crowds of people feeling like I’m about to hyperventilate. Tired of needing so much rest just to prepare for and recover from every outing.
I feel like an oddball. A social outcast. A recluse. I can’t pull myself out of it no matter how hard I try. I lack the energy to maintain relationships that used to come easy for me. I want to tell friends and family, “I love you, but I just can’t.”
There is no such thing as a comfort zone for me anymore, unless you count my bed, I suppose. The entire world feels uncomfortable to some extent. Nature is truly the best place outside of my bedroom, but even that poses a threat when there are a lot of other patrons.
My skin is crawling with rapid-firing nerves almost continuously. I unconsciously clinch my jaw most of the time. My brain is thinking, and rethinking, and rethinking, and rethinking…
I am so jaded and cynical for the vast majority of my time, but then, sometimes I start over-sharing. I start spending a lot of money. I start looking for something to either maintain this feeling of being well-put-together or to knock me out in order to escape the comedown. I start chasing euphoria that can not be extended. I feel invincible for a second. Brash, sassy, sexy, an object of affection, a golden prize, a glittering star.
And maybe I am all of those things (except invincible, of course), but the feeling inside me is artificial because I don’t believe it. I know I don’t believe it, but, God, if I could just make it last, how wonderful would that be…
But I wake the next day trying to undo any damage I’ve caused. Not always easy. I’ve made so many stupid mistakes, which just ultimately increases my feelings of resentment towards myself. I’ve done things that are totally out-of-character for me, and then severely reprimanded myself for it.
But I’m still here. Still self-aware. I know this behavior is extremely unhealthy for me. I still make strides forward, despite my stumbles back.
At this point, I know I’m not doing well trying to handle it on my own, so I’ve reached out for help, which is truly the smartest, strongest thing I could have done. To admit that I still need a lot of work; To know that I can’t put the pieces back together alone, but to never lose hope for myself has twisted me around and pointed me back in the right direction.
If you are struggling with your mental health, please know that you are not alone. I may not know you, but I am thinking about you and sending you love. The connectedness of the world can be a bad thing, but it can also be oh so good, allowing us to find others that are experiencing similar issues, even though they may be halfway around the world. That is empowerment for us all. That is how we start to heal.