It's hard to explain the regret I feel from writing this to you all...
Not because I am ashamed of my mental health, but because I let it all get this far (AGAIN!) without reaching out and talking about it.
I've been so terrified to talk again, because in all honestly that last time I let myself open up to people about my mental health. It got used against me. There is so much hurtful stigma around MH and the fear of talking out about mine again became so crippling that I no matter how much I knew I should it was too hard. But that has to change.
I can't let the misguided people of the world control me.
I will not suffer in silence out of fear of being called crazy, toxic or attention-seeking any longer.
I'm not ok...but that's ok.
I think we can all agree 2020 has been a shit show so far. Isolation has triggered so many things for people all across the world. I personally can't watch the news at the moment. Every time I try my palpitations take over and before I know it I'm passed out on the ground from an overwhelming panic attack. It feels like in that moment, I can feel all the stress and fear of the whole world on my shoulders. It breaks my heart to think about all the pain in the world. Not just now, but always. Only now its harder to avoid because it's all over every part of our lives right now. I'm very much a fixer. I need to help everyone around me with their problems before I can relax or even consider thinking about my own. So in a world where I can't fix the problems...I'm drowning.
On the flip side of that, the overwhelming amount of insistence that we have to be positive in these times is also too much for me. I fully understand where it is coming from. but I think people don't realise how damaging it can be to people with MH.
Posts such as
" If Y'all didn't use this time at home to better yourself and get all the things you've been putting off at home done then you can't say you don't have the time. You're just lazy"
Bitch no. We are all going through a collective trauma right now. To say its triggering doesn't really cover it. If all I managed to do during this lockdown is keep myself alive. I'll be damn proud of myself.
Currently, a good day to me is when I've only had suicidal or self-harm thoughts a handful of times. When my panic attacks have only caused me to need a small rest afterwards. When the voices and hallucinations I incur 24/7 have been quiet enough that I could convince myself to make dinner, or have a bath.
I realise this sounds very depressing. but I think we sometimes spend so much time convincing the world we are fine when we really are not. and hiding these feelings is a big part of why people fail to understand what mental health really feels like.
Mental health is exhausting. Both physically and emotionally.
Some people can keep a job, others can't.
Some people don't eat, others too much.
Some can't sleep, others can sleep for days.
Some people lash out, others internalise.
Some people smile through it, others break down.
Some people have support systems, others are alone.
Everyone experiences mental health differently. There are no labels that fit us all in one box. And sometimes you even have to deal with issues that directly contradict one another.
Personally, my depression will exhaust me and make me want to stay in bed all day. while my anxiety will constantly remind me how I'm not achieving the things I set out to do in my life. My borderline personality disorder will make me annalise every word I've ever said to someone while my autism struggles to understand social cues. I'm happier around my friends and family but I'm also agoraphobic, and so leaving the house can terrify me to the point of having a panic attack and passing out before I've even stepped out the door to go see them. on the flip side of that, I NEED alone time from people and therefore struggle to live with others (even family) as I feel I can't really relax and be myself unless I'm completely alone (not including the dog of course). As an autistic female, I do something called "masking". this means I copy the personality traits of the people I am around in order to better fit in. This, in turn, can trigger my borderline personality where I question if I'm even real. I can look in the mirror and truly believe I don't even look human. Then on top of all that madness, I have auditory and visual hallucinations determined to convince me I am worthless and only promise to be quiet if I hurt myself. Which as you guessed it, will give me no more than 5 minutes of relief before it starts all over again. Flashbacks of past trauma that make it next to impossible to keep yourself rooted in reality.
currently, sleep is my only real relief (due to medication). Which I will admit is at least better than the days where I could not sleep at all and would have to live in a state hopelessness 24/7. But obviously, sleeping your life away is far from ideal either.
Why am I telling you all this? Because when people ask me why I don't just get a job, do the things I enjoy, buy and house and be adult, the above statement of my reality is what I wish I could tell them.
Imagine leaving for work in the morning but passing out from a panic attack before you've even stepped out of the door. Now your late and your boss isn't going to belive you when you tell them what really happened.
imagine sitting in a meeting, trying to listen to your boss and coworkers while hallucinations block your vision or scream in your ear so you can't hear what is being said. Now you look like you are not paying attention and don't care about your job. imagine trying to do your job while in a constant battle with your mind as to what is real. did my boss ask me to do that or am I making it up? Did my co-worker just look at me judgingly or am I imagining that everyone hates me? imagine trying to visit your family while you panic about being seen as boring, rude, lazy and underachieving because of all the seemingly harmless questions about how your life is going depress you even more.
It's hard. And yes, everyone deals with things differently. some have better control of these things and some have it much worse also. I'm not looking for sympathy. I don't want you to tell me how sorry you are to hear of my struggles. I just want you to understand what its like, and know I (and everyone else that suffers) am trying my absolute hardest to beat it. There have been times in my life where I have been doing so well, but unfortunately right now is not one of those times. It's dark, isolating and lonely.
But it's not all doom and gloom. A little ray of sunshine broke through a few days ago and I can not begin to explain how grateful I am about it.
From before I could talk I was singing. ( according to my pops he would put the radio on and I would sing along to the melody but just not know the words yet) singing brings a sense of peace in me like nothing else.
A few days ago now I finally convinced myself to be brave enough to go outside my house and sing some songs for my neighbours and stream it online for people at home.
I was terrified. I wanted to back out over and over again. Even when I had hit the button to start streaming it still took me a hot minute to walk in front of the camera and start singing. But to say I am grateful I did is an understatement. Nothing matters when I'm singing. I'm not scared, hallucinations disappear and I'm just happy to see people enjoying my little performance. I honestly wish I could just perform 24/7. Even if it was just to one other person because singing by myself never has the same effect.
if you want to check out the live performance I did you can click here to be taken to my Facebook page (:
thank you to everyone that took the time out to watch, it was the best hours of peace I've had in a long time and that truly means the world to me. Hopefully, now I won't be so scared to do it again.
If you are struggling right now, please know that I am here whenever you may need it. It's so scary to reach out to people and tell them how you are really feeling but I promise you they would rather listen to you than lose you. no matter what your mind may tell you. I guarantee it is the truth. above everything else. it's ok to be struggling right now. it's ok to struggle at any time. Please don't beat yourself up, reach out.
To all my friends & family that have reminded me I'm not alone, thank you. I promise to try my hardest to keep the communication open
an extra special thanks to beth from www.kissofbeth.com from being brave enough to talk about her struggles and therefore helping me to do the same <3
Until next time bitches xx